As we head into the final few months of 2017, we realize most of our clients and potential clients throughout the Piedmont region of Virginia and the Carolinas are working hard to formulate their 2018 operational budgets and capex planning for their commercial facilities.
To aid in that effort, we wanted to provide this brief guide to what building owners and facility managers should consider regarding their building’s commercial HVAC system as they develop their budgets for the new year.
What’s the system’s current status?
Since we’re already into the heating season and the system is being taxed, now’s a perfect time to take a bird’s eye view of the whole HVAC system - from the comfort level inside the building to the operational expenses required to run it, and everything in-between – and figure out whether it’s running at top form or there’s room for significant improvement.
Although owners and managers can theoretically pull together data and try to analyze the situation on their own, it’s admittedly an overwhelming and time-consuming task. And, covering all the necessary details requires a thorough understanding of the technical aspects of the system, which many internal teams just don’t have.
Piedmont Service Group offers a comprehensive Operational Assessment that will provide all the necessary information as well as a prioritized action list for any necessary improvements, which can be invaluable in the budget planning process.
Are you prepared for the unexpected?
Of course, as with all mechanical systems, the way the system’s running now doesn’t guarantee it’s going to continue running that way forever. Parts can wear, dust and other debris can hamper effectiveness, and changes in how the building is used can have a significant impact on the system’s efficiency.
While it’s wise to include a portion of the budget dedicated to emergency repairs, a budget allocation that would offer even greater value for most commercial building owners is set aside for planned maintenance.
A planned HVAC maintenance program allows for trained technicians to routinely visit and visually inspect the system, perform electronic diagnostics, and perform all standard maintenance procedures in a timely fashion. Perhaps more importantly, it also allows the technicians to note where potential problem areas are developing, such as a part that’s showing signs of wear, or a unit that’s reaching the end of its life expectancy, and to make proactive recommendations regarding repair or replacement options prior to the system experiencing a catastrophic failure.
In this way, planned maintenance tends to save both money and time while also preventing costly downtime and the premium cost of emergency, off-hours repair work.
As long as your system is currently running well and isn’t facing the end of its life expectancy, the combination of a thorough operational assessment now with a planned maintenance program spanning 2018 should offer the very best and most cost effective use of budgeted funds. We want to ensure your commercial HVAC system continues performing well all year. Contact us to discuss more about your HVAC needs and learn how a partnership with Piedmont fits into your 2018 budget.