Mitsubishi Electric – Maintaining Quality
Stuart O’Neil, Business Development Manager Service & Maintenance looks at the importance of regular planned maintenance for your HVAC equipment
Do we ever really think about why we maintain building services equipment?
It probably sounds like an odd question, but perhaps it’s something we should consider more often.
Of course, there is legislation such as the F-Gas regulations for example, that require regular checks on equipment containing fluorinated refrigerant, and there are manufacturer recommendations to take into consideration also.
Those are sound reasons to carry out regular planned maintenance visits. If we think about the potential benefits of maintenance, then there are some clear incentives to go further than minimum requirements.
“In short it can cost more to fix an issue than it does to prevent one.”
One of the main reasons to take maintenance to the next level is that today’s HVAC equipment is more complex than it was 20 years ago.
Purchase a modern chiller or heat pump, for instance, and you’re investing in a high-performance machine that’s optimised to deliver energy efficient chilled water to IT data halls or designed to ensure occupant comfort and reliability which in turn can increase productivity.
Maintenance on this type of equipment is not as simple as checking refrigerant levels.
It is essential that everything from the calibration of temperature and pressure sensors, to compressor operation and heat transfer from exchangers is regularly checked.
Operating conditions should also be logged to ensure correct optimum running efficiencies. Doing this will keep equipment operating in its target parameters for the equipment’s entire life-cycle.
Reducing your carbon footprint
Another important point to bear in mind is that building owners and occupiers are increasingly focused on energy use and corporate carbon footprints.
A growing number of large businesses are making public commitments to net-zero goals, and energy use in their buildings is a key part of hitting those targets.
Maintenance can take a lead role in ensuring that HVAC equipment does not drift away from its optimum operation, helping to avoid wasteful energy consumption.
Regular planned visits can potentially reduce a negative impact on the environment. For example, a refrigerant leak could be found early and repaired quickly, reducing the release of harmful greenhouse gasses.
Maintenance is also about prevention.
More often than not, a plant that is not maintained regularly will ultimately cost the end user more per year rather than entering into a Planned Preventative Maintenance contract.
In short it can cost more to fix an issue than it does to prevent one.
Having proper maintenance in place can reduce the risk of unplanned shut-downs and machine downtimes, preventing the possibility of uncomfortable staff or overheating computer data halls.
This isn’t to say that your HVAC equipment will fail without constant maintenance. Modern equipment is built to be robust – but it needs regular servicing and maintenance to stay that way.
Also, even if it doesn’t develop faults, the equipment will eventually degrade and struggle to operate as required by the building and its occupants.
The expected life of the equipment will be significantly reduced and a replacement would be required due to a catastrophic failure which could have been avoided.
Guest Blog by Stuart O'Neil, Business Development Manager for Service & Maintenance
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