Every business is run differently and there are constant changes as markets fluctuate, economic and industry circumstances change, and new strategies are explored.
But one thing that never changes in any business model is the need to maintain the bottom line.
If you’re not bringing in more than you’re paying out, you’re in trouble. That’s why all smart business owners maintain a sharp eye on their P&L statements and act quickly and decisively when financial danger looms.
For owners of commercial buildings, the situation is the same. The building itself needs to be run like any other business, including keeping the bottom line healthy. Investing in a full service or planned maintenance commercial HVAC service program can have an impact on helping you stay in the black. Here are a few important reasons why:
Increases energy efficiency
Commercial buildings account for over 40% of the energy usage in the United States at any given time. And, the HVAC systems in those buildings account for around 44% of that energy usage. It’s easy to see that keeping the HVAC system as energy efficient as possible can translate into a significant reduction in utility costs over the course of the year.
Eagle Transport, for instance, was able to create a 20% savings in energy costs when they decided to replace their aging (but still functional) rooftop units with new, higher efficiency units that were also better for the environment. As a result, they’ve seen an annual savings of $11,200, which translates to a 16.9% overall ROI for that project. Keep in mind, the larger the commercial building, the higher the return expected.
Helps avoid catastrophic repairs
As car owners, we can all relate to the maintenance versus repair debate.
While evidence and common sense both tell us that it’s smarter and less expensive in the long run to properly maintain a vehicle according to the manufacturer’s recommended schedule, the more common practice is to drive it day in and day out until something goes wrong, then bring it to the mechanic for repairs.
This is a bad idea for several reasons:
First, it can lead to frustration and inconvenience if the car ends up breaking down on the road. Secondly, it could be dangerous if the breakdown causes an accident or loss of control of the vehicle. Finally, it often ends up being costly because when one part goes bad over time, it will usually affect a number of other related parts that may otherwise have not needed replacement.
Moving this analogy to the commercial HVAC system in your building, we find that it parallels perfectly except that your HVAC system is likely worth a lot more than your vehicle, and so the potential costs of catastrophic repair are much higher.
When a commercial HVAC system completely breaks down, it can lead to inconvenience, frustration, and even dangerous conditions depending on the weather and other circumstances. If employees are unable to work, it can mean lost money due to lost productivity. If the building houses a lot of vulnerable electronics - such as a data center - it can even mean damage to other expensive equipment that wouldn’t otherwise need to be replaced.
All in all, the relatively modest cost of a commercial HVAC service plan pales in comparison to the potential costs of allowing the system to break down due to lack of planned maintenance.
Improves worker productivity
This effect on the bottom line is not quite as easy to pinpoint, but it’s very real nonetheless. When employees are uncomfortable - too hot, too cold, or when the air is too humid or stale - they’re not in a position to give 100% of their energy and attention to the job.
If the situation is relatively minor, they may feel a little sluggish or unable to concentrate well. But if it’s extreme - if the A/C completely shuts down, for instance, and the inside temperature soars - they’ll not only feel uncomfortable, but also frustrated and disengaged knowing conditions are not up to par. Not understanding exactly what’s going on can lead to further frustration and disengagement.
Even small fluctuations from the normal comfort level your employees expect can have an impact on productivity and job satisfaction, according to this study that relates employee productivity and environmental conditions.
The study’s conclusion is, “It is clear that the facilities management profession can have a significant impact in creating high performance workplaces by placing greater emphasis on office environment comfort systems and their respective control systems.”
So, as the owner or facility manager of a commercial building who needs to constantly monitor the bottom line, investing in a routine commercial HVAC maintenance program proves to be a wise and effective decision that can have long-reaching effects.
If you’d like to discuss what options are available for your facility, contact us today and we’ll arrange for a professional to visit your commercial building, assess the situation, and recommend solutions. Or, download our ebook to better understand the value of HVAC analytics.