Deferred HVAC maintenance is a common problem in facilities management. While deferred maintenance may be necessary while waiting on parts or scheduling a field service technician to correct the issue, extensive delays can have serious financial consequences. However, these costs are not limited to spending more on a repair due to rising component or labor costs, and facilities managers need to understand the real costs of deferred HVAC maintenance.
Deferred HVAC Maintenance Decreases Equipment Life Expectancy
Decreased equipment life expectancy is among the top consequences of deferred HVAC maintenance. According to Naomi Millán of FacilitiesNet, deferred HVAC maintenance is the driving force behind most HVAC system replacement in commercial buildings in the United States. While overall commercial building age contributes to an increased rate of replacement, many of these facilities could have still been using their equipment, if facility managers had properly maintained HVAC systems through a preventative maintenance program.
Deferment Costs May Equal up to 30x the Original Maintenance Cost
Depending on how much time passes between identifying a potential problem and needed repair and completing the actual repair, the costs of deferred HVAC maintenance multiply at a remarkable pace. On average, companies spent 30 times more on repairs or replacements that were initially deferred HVAC maintenance items. If the malfunction or maintenance need causes additional problems and impacts other parts of the facilities, such as a leaking drain pan results in the growth of mold and mildew on the floor and within walls, actual costs may soar even higher.
Deferred HVAC Maintenance Increases Liability Risk
Deferred maintenance on HVAC system carries a higher risk of major equipment failures and risk for catastrophe, such as causing a fire, flood or failure of the building’s structural integrity due to water damage. Subsequent costs arise, like increasing insurance premiums resulting from injuries to building occupants, explains Buildings.com. If the system overheats, it could have major ramifications for your business, costing much more than just replacement and temporary facility closure.
Deferred Maintenance Reduces Profitability!
The system requires more energy to function, even if a specific unit is a problem. Other units may work harder, reducing their longevity and requiring more energy to cool or warm your facility, reducing profitability by increasing utility costs. Also, a complete replacement from deferred HVAC maintenance may disrupt production, and if repair parts or systems are on backorder, entire operations may suffer for days, if not weeks, until the repair can be completed.
Save Your Company Money by Addressing the HVAC Maintenance Backlog and Implementing a Preventative Maintenance Schedule
Deferred HVAC maintenance is never a good idea, and it should never be the victim of budget cuts. However, minor deferred maintenance may be necessary, if advisable when using your asset management playbook.
Editor's Note: Today's guest blog is from national facilities management company, QSI Facilities.