Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) maintenance is always essential to promote the comfort and satisfaction of the facility’s users. But that’s not the only advantage of HVAC equipment maintenance. Here are 6 reasons why HVAC maintenance is a must in 2023:
Reduces energy costs
It is estimated that in an office building, the HVAC system accounts for 40% of energy consumption. With fuel and electricity hitting all-time record prices, HVAC energy costs will weigh even more heavily on businesses.
Therefore, it is essential to ensure that the equipment is in good condition. For example, a dirty condenser causes air conditioning to use up to 10 to 20% more energy than usual. Preventive maintenance saves energy and, consequently, a lot of expenses.
Avoid long and costly breakdowns
Another advantage of HVAC maintenance is preventing long breakdowns with high repair costs. Preventive maintenance can avoid up to 95% of breakdowns. Obviously, this has a huge impact on maintenance costs and helps businesses balance finances in this recovery period, particularly for the tourism industry.
On the other hand, inflation, and the lack of raw materials (namely metal and plastic) will increase the price of parts and repairs. For example, in 2021 Daikin announced a price increase of 8% in commercial equipment and up to 20% in parts. Therefore, preventing these breakdowns translates into further savings.
Improves indoor air quality
The number of pollutants in the air is 2 to 5 times higher in indoor air compared to outdoors. Indoor air can have higher levels of CO2 and PM2.5, mould, pesticides, asbestos and lead residue from building materials, and even toxic substances from tobacco smoke.
These substances are harmful to those with asthma, allergies, rhinitis, and other respiratory problems. They also have a negative impact on worker productivity. Mechanical ventilation and air renewal prevent serious problems but require proper maintenance.
At the height of the pandemic, there was widespread fear of contracting COVID-19 from air conditioning. However, the Portuguese health authority quickly dispelled the myth. The risk of catching COVID-19 in air-conditioned indoor spaces is “very low if maintenance is adhered to“.
Increases occupant comfort
The temperature, noise, humidity, and ventilation of spaces influence the sense of comfort of those who use the building. It is no coincidence that 24% of complaints in hotels are about room temperature. But all these parameters depend, of course, on proper maintenance.
In fact, the occupants’ comfort has surprising implications. Nowadays, it even influences the ability to attract and retain talent: 66% of workers consider a workplace focused on “health and well-being” “decisive” and 40% of millennials consider environmental commitment a “tie-breaker” factor between companies.
Decreases the company’s environmental footprint
It is estimated that 30% of all energy used in buildings is wasted. As the HVAC system is responsible for 40% of the energy used, it becomes evident that avoiding wasting energy for heating and cooling has a great environmental impact.
Avoiding this energy waste is not only about proper preventive maintenance, but also about real-time monitoring. Integrate your maintenance platform with centralised technical management systems or sensors to collect data and implement energy efficiency measures.
In a 12,000 m2 building, these kinds of measures can reduce carbon emissions by 6% [in Portuguese]. And it seems a good time to remember that a 2021 study by Deloitte found that 65% of consumers expect businesses to reduce carbon emissions.
Extends equipment’s life
Annual maintenance of HVAC equipment is sort of like going to the dentist every year. You get a cleaning, make sure you’re free of cavities, and take care of any problems before you lose your tooth. Or like going to the mechanic and the MOT once a year.
If you inspect the equipment once a year, clean the outdoor units, check the electrical connections, and the correct lubrication of the mechanical components, etc, you avoid early wear and tear. This makes the equipment last longer and increases the ROI.
Changes to come in 2024 for the HVAC industry
Starting from January 1, 2024, one critical aspect of the transition in the HVAC industry is the implementation of a 40 percent reduction in the production of HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons). This reduction is a significant step toward addressing the environmental impact of HFCs, which are potent greenhouse gases and contribute to climate change.
HFCs are commonly used as refrigerants in HVAC systems and other cooling equipment. While they are effective at providing cooling, they have a high global warming potential (GWP) when released into the atmosphere. The 40 percent reduction in HFC production aims to curb the release of these gases and mitigate their impact on global warming.
The reduction in HFC production is part of a larger effort to transition to more environmentally friendly alternatives in the HVAC industry. This transition involves adopting refrigerants with lower GWPs, such as hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs) and natural refrigerants like hydrocarbons (HCs), ammonia (NH3), and carbon dioxide (CO2).
By reducing HFC production and adopting alternative refrigerants, the HVAC industry can significantly reduce its contribution to climate change. This transition presents several changes and challenges for the industry:
- Adoption of alternative refrigerants: HVAC manufacturers and professionals need to adapt their systems and processes to accommodate new refrigerants with lower GWPs. This may require redesigning equipment, ensuring compatibility, and implementing new safety measures.
- Training and certification: HVAC technicians and professionals will need to receive training and certification to handle and work with the new refrigerants. This includes understanding the properties, safety protocols, and proper handling procedures for each alternative refrigerant.
- Equipment and infrastructure updates: Existing HVAC systems may need retrofitting or replacement to accommodate the use of alternative refrigerants. This can involve modifying equipment, upgrading components, or installing new systems altogether.
- Regulatory compliance: As the reduction in HFC production is mandated by regulations and international agreements, the HVAC industry must comply with these requirements. Manufacturers and professionals need to stay updated with the evolving regulations and ensure their products and practices align with the specified standards.
- Environmental benefits: The transition to lower GWP refrigerants offers environmental benefits by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It helps in meeting climate goals outlined in international agreements like the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, which aims to phase down HFCs globally.
Are you determined to invest in preventive maintenance for your HVAC system? Get to know Infraspeak’s platform better, where you can make your plan, assign tasks to your technicians, set SLAs, and increase compliance.