Presentation on theme: "Daily Property Walk / Inspections HVAC Maintenance & Care Tips Indoor Air Quality HVAC Maintenance, Reliability and Longevity."— Presentation transcript:
Daily Property Walk / Inspections HVAC Maintenance & Care Tips Indoor Air Quality HVAC Maintenance, Reliability and Longevity
Daily Inspections Every property should be walked daily to inspect all HVAC equipment, thermostat settings, boilers, water heaters, reserve tanks, gauges, etc. Check rooftop equipment, listen, feel the vibrations, know the sound of your equipment. Check your lighting! Replace burnt out bulbs. Do bulbs match? Check your exterior lighting. Is your time clock set to correct time or do you have sensors? Irrigation Systems – timers set correctly? Do you monitor settings according to the weather?
One of our top opportunities as a service provider is to ensure the proper operation of the heating, ventilation, air and cooling system. To keep yours in top condition, we recommend the following tips.
Roof top and split system equipment (1) Ensure all coils are clean and free from dirt. If you can't see through them, clean them. (2) Make sure all belts are properly adjusted. (3) Replace all filters. (4) Check all electrical connections for tightness of set screws on power connections. (5) Lubricate all motors and bearings. (6) Ensure that all condensate drains are clear and draining properly.
Package Terminal Units (1) Clean condenser and evaporator coils. Check thermostats, fans and Freon too.* (2) Ensure all condensate drains are clear and draining properly. (3) Check the caulk seal around the unit cabinetry. (4) Replace filters. Filters should be cleaned on a regular basis and checked throughout Spring and Summer. (5) Ensure the outside vent is closed for noise and humidity control. (6) Ensure that the unit chassis is screwed to the wall sleeve to minimize vibration. *Units should be removed from the rooms and cleaned with a cleaner and degreaser. Be sure to let them dry completely before reinstalling. This is also a good time to check the operation of your spare or backup units for their cleanliness and operation.
Leave on units with the thermostats set to a uniform, comfortable seasonal setting so they dont run continuously to get the room temperature down. Units will also last longer, resulting in less replacement cost, if they are allowed to cycle off and on. Inspect the first floor units for damage so you can be sure no unregistered guests have checked in. Springs the time to make sure your units operate quietly and efficiently – your guests will be comfortable and your utility costs will be minimized.
Keeping air handler drain pans dry, and properly treated is essential to the quality of your units air supply stream. Many older drain pan designs were not pitched toward the drain outlet, so complete drainage isn't assured. Water left standing in the pan is an excellent breeding site for microbial growth. Since the drain pan is located in the supply air stream, these contaminants are readily distributed throughout the building.
The best remedy for a flat drain pan is to replace it with one that is pitched. If that's not possible, add an insert inside the existing drain pan to provide the required pitch. In either case, make sure the new pan or insert is well sealed and doesn't leak inside the air handler. As a further precaution, apply an antimicrobial drain pan treatment strip or pad to reduce the potential for microbial growth. Be sure to change before the expiration date to keep the drain pan treated. Also make sure to keep your condensate drains clean and check regularly to prevent back-up
While you're considering drain pans, take a look at the interior insulation in the air handling and rooftop units. Be sure to prevent the insulation from coming in contact with condensate water. The internal insulation for an air handling or rooftop unit is often installed so that it comes in contact with the condensate pan. In the event that internal insulation becomes contaminated with water, the insulation should be replaced and measures should be taken to prevent future contamination.
In spite of years of studies, demonstration programs, and published stories to the contrary, most facility organizations today still operate in a reactive mode. Though facility executives know that is far better to schedule maintenance activities using planned and predictive maintenance tools, most continue to spend the bulk of their resources operating reactively. The most common reasons cited for this is the lack of sufficient resources. This approach to maintenance with respect to HVAC systems is particularly troubling given the role that HVAC systems play in todays facilities. HVAC systems in typical commercial buildings are responsible for more than 40 percent of total energy use. Keeping HVAC systems running properly and at peak efficiency is the first step in managing facility energy use
The importance of good HVAC system maintenance goes beyond just controlling energy use. Buildings today depend on properly operating systems for more than just people comfort. For example, most telecommunications systems have requirements for specific environmental conditions to operate properly. Temperatures and humidity levels that fall outside of this range can lead to interruption in services and even costly system failures. Sometimes the difference between keeping a business running and having to shut down is nothing more than proper HVAC system maintenance.
In spite of all the supporting data and facility executives efforts, most organizations underfund maintenance. Reactive maintenance remains the norm, not the exception. Maintenance is deferred. Planned and predictive maintenance remain the exception. The most commonly cited reason for not performing routine and preventive maintenance on HVAC equipment is lack of resources. To many of the people who establish and control budgets, maintenance is an overhead cost. Like other overhead costs, steps should be taken to reduce it. Reducing overhead costs increases profit margins. And like other overhead costs, the only impact of this reduction is reduced costs. Proper maintenance of HVAC systems requires careful planning and forward thinking, both of which become lost when maintenance is considered nothing more than an overhead expense.
Contributing to this belief is the unfortunate fact that HVAC systems are not the most noticeable components in a facility. Unlike highly visible items, such as carpet or lighting systems, most HVAC systems are out of sight and out of mind, until something goes wrong. And when something does go wrong, it is too late for maintenance to be performed efficiently. Maintenance at that point becomes reactive
Reactive maintenance is the most costly way to maintain building HVAC systems. Organizations that have implemented comprehensive planned and predictive maintenance programs show dramatic decreases in maintenance costs. And when factors are included, such as extended equipment life, reduced energy use, less frequent system downtime, and decreased interruptions to building operations, organizations that have implemented comprehensive maintenance programs find that their total costs can be as much as 50 percent lower than the costs for those organizations that continue maintain equipment reactively.
While it is easy to blame those who control the budget, facility executives themselves are at least partially to blame. If facility executives are to receive the budgetary support necessary to carry out their mission, they must present their case in the terms that are best understood by budget managers. Simply saying that money is needed to overhaul or replace a chiller, particularly when the chiller is still running, is not enough. Facility executives should be able to demonstrate the consequences of ignoring HVAC system maintenance while identifying the real cost savings associated with comprehensive maintenance. Demonstrate that dollars spent on the maintenance of these systems will result in an improvement in the bottom line.
Location, location, location. The phrase is a real estate cliché. In maintenance budgeting, the key is documentation, documentation, documentation. Funds in organizations, particularly during economic downturns, are limited. Competition for those funds is intense. Other departments have pet projects that they are promoting. They are the competition. If facility executives want to level the playing field, they should make the case that investing money in HVAC maintenance will provide the organization a rate of return that is equal to or even greater than what others are promoting. And that requires documentation. Properly maintaining HVAC systems provides a number of benefits that facility executives readily understand. Proper documentation of these benefits will help budget managers develop the same level of understanding.
One of the easiest benefits to document is how HVAC maintenance affects energy efficiency. Facilities in which proper HVAC maintenance is completed will use at least 15 to 20 percent less energy than those where systems are allowed to deteriorate. For example, consider the operation of a central building chiller. Building chillers typically are the single largest user of electricity in a facility. To keep them operating as efficiently as possible, maintenance tasks must be performed on a daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis. Let them lapse, and efficiency will decrease, increasing energy use.
Start with the chiller operating log. Work with the chiller manufacturer or a service company to translate the log data into an operating efficiency curve for the chiller. Develop a similar curve for what the efficiency of the chiller would be if all maintenance were performed at the recommended intervals. The difference between the two operating efficiencies can be translated into energy and cost savings. Due to the high energy use of the equipment, even small increases in efficiency will result in large savings.
While the energy savings estimates for chillers, boilers, and many other HVAC systems is straightforward, others savings estimates may not be. Consider outside air dampers. Air dampers require regular maintenance to respond properly to the temperature control systems demand for ventilation air. If the damper linkage is out of adjustment, or if it sticks open, more ventilation air will be introduced than necessary, requiring the system to use more heating or cooling energy to condition that air. Regular inspection, testing and maintenance of the damper will keep it operating properly, minimizing energy use. Document what needs to be done, how much it will cost, and what the cost would be for a stuck damper. Show how much a stuck open damper would cost in terms of energy use
One of the largest benefits of HVAC maintenance is improved reliability. Consider it to be an insurance policy, with maintenance costs being the premium that is paid to reduce the chances of a system failure. The key to building a successful case is documentation, otherwise the if it isnt broken, dont fix it mentality may be the justification for doing nothing. Start with a piece of equipment or system that has not been properly maintained due to lack of resources. Review the maintenance records for the equipment or system. These records may exist in the form of work orders, service calls, overtime costs, and customer complaints. Show what the lack of maintenance is costing the operation in terms of reactive maintenance costs and interruptions of service. Compare this to what it would have cost to perform the required maintenance.
Dont stop there. Quantify what would happen if that particular piece of equipment would fail and require replacement. What would it cost to replace it? How long would it take to purchase and install the replacement? How would its failure impact operations? Would some operations have to be moved to temporary facilities, and what would the cost of that move be? If maintenance has not been a high priority, chances are that there will be a number of equipment failures that occurred during the past budget year. Analyze these failures to determine their underlying cause. Some will be random failures that maintenance may not have been able to prevent. Others will be the direct result of poor maintenance
Develop case studies that show what happened and why. Quantify the costs of the failure in terms of emergency repairs, increased replacement costs, decreased equipment service life, and lost productivity. Estimate what it would have cost to perform the required maintenance, and what impact that it would have had on the failure. Present the case study to your building managers to build the argument for improving maintenance funding.
Facility executives understand that without proper maintenance, the service life of HVAC systems and components will decrease. It is important to make property managers understand this too. Again, use documentation to make the case. Look at the history of some recent HVAC failures within the facility. How long had the equipment been in service? Compare the actual equipment life to what the industry says the service life should be under normal operating conditions. Take into consideration any factors in a particular facility that would alter the rated service life.
Present the findings detailing how failing to fund and perform proper maintenance has resulted in the need to invest early in replacement equipment. Dont forget the impact that poorly operating and unreliable HVAC equipment has on customers that is, the building occupants. HVAC systems are there to perform a function. Unless they are properly maintained, they will not be able to perform as needed. The number of complaints will rise. If dissatisfaction rises high enough, those who can leave will.
Again, documentation is key. Track the complaints and service calls that are coming in from building occupants. Identify the cause of the complaint and what had to be done to correct the situation. Determine what it cost to correct the situation and if it was the result of past inadequate maintenance. Present this information to the building managers detailing how much proper maintenance would have improved not only the bottom line but also customer relations