As a commercial building owner or facility manager, it would be great if you knew you never had to worry about a major system like your HVAC going down. But, of course, that’s not how the real world works. In reality, you know it’s better to be prepared for the worst than to be caught off guard when it occurs.
Having a well thought-out strategy in place to deal with emergency HVAC repairs can shave hours or even days off the downtime the situation creates. For many facilities, that downtime translates to tens of thousands of dollars in lost productivity. For some, it can mean millions of dollars in inventory and other assets being put in jeopardy.
By developing a strategy ahead of time, you can ensure that, if an emergency outage occurs, everyone who needs to be involved in resolving the situation knows their role and can begin immediately without having to waste any time figuring things out under pressure.
The following tips will help you create an emergency HVAC repair strategy that prepares your commercial building for the worst:
Safety is the top priority
The most important factor of your emergency repair strategy is determining whether the situation facing your HVAC system poses a threat to the health and well being of the people living or working in the building.
Ask yourself, “is the temporary loss of optimal ventilation going to create a hazardous condition?” If your building contains chemicals or other pollutants that can create fumes or otherwise cause harm if they collect in the air, an evacuation of affected areas is going to have to be step one of your strategy. Another important question to consider is, “will temperature fluctuations in the building cause equipment or stored chemicals to become unstable?”
While there are fewer commercial facilities where these issues could become highly dangerous or deadly, even relatively mild safety issues could end up leading to worker’s compensation or disability claims and other legal ramifications if they’re caused by an outage and there was no response plan in place.
Your strategy needs to mitigate risks and protect your employees and tenants before anything else. Based on your unique situation, it should include an evacuation plan, and a means of confirming that everyone is out.
Decide if the Situation Can Be Handled In-House
While there’s no room for false confidence or cutting corners where emergency repairs are concerned, there are some minor issues that can cause a shutdown, but may be quick and simple to fix. If something like a blown fuse or a minor electrical problem is to blame, your strategy needs to ensure there’s at least one individual present during operating hours with the knowledge and tools necessary to resolve the issue immediately.
Assuming your in-house fix is successful, you should be back up and running quickly. It’s still best at that point to contact your commercial HVAC maintenance partner as soon as possible to determine what caused the issue in the first place. It’s also possible the relatively minor issue you dealt with is just the first symptom of a progressive issue you’ll need professional technicians to resolve.
What to do if You Can’t Handle the Repair on Your Own
In most cases, an emergency HVAC repair requires more knowledge, experience, equipment, and tools than what is available on-sight. Many commercial facilities have no one on staff who’s capable of quickly and efficiently diagnosing and repairing HVAC issues.
The best option in these cases is to contact your HVAC service provider and have a technician come out as soon as possible to assess the situation and develop a repair plan. Reputable commercial HVAC providers generally offer a 24/7 emergency service designed to resolve issues quickly with minimal downtime. They’ll also be honest and up-front about the true nature of your problem rather than taking advantage of the situation to recommend unnecessary, expensive repairs or upgrades.
If you’re currently working with Piedmont Service Group, we’re proud to guarantee that our highly trained and experienced HVAC technicians will handle any emergency HVAC repairs quickly and efficiently with minimal downtime and maximum quality.
With these simple tips in mind, you should be able to develop an effective emergency HVAC repair strategy that’s perfectly tailored to your unique facility. Want to learn more about how to plan for an emergency HVAC repair? Click the button below to find out how our team can help.