Preventative maintenance has become a staple in building HVAC management due to its increased savings over last-minute, reactive maintenance. But what about proactive maintenance? What is proactive maintenance? What are the savings associated with proactive maintenance?

Proactive maintenance is technology based where OCMS systems monitor equipment 24/7 to discover, quantify, and track granular failures to allow owners and managers the ability to forecast equipment maintenance and upgrades.

Why Meeting ASHRAE’s Fresh Airflow Regulations isn’t as Easy as You Think

Both ASHRAE and the CDC have stated that one of the most important elements to ensuring a safe return to working in commercial office buildings after the COVID-19 shelter in place mandates have lifted is meeting their standards of fresh airflow. Unfortunately, there is no easy button in BMS systems to increase fresh airflow in commercial buildings, and simply increasing airflow can have negative effects throughout your buildings.

Here are three major categories where changes to airflow can create issues:

1. Tenant comfort

Too much airflow makes tenants feel like they’re in a wind tunnel – Too little and it gets stuffy – Where’s the middle ground? Airflow is supposed to be maintained ‘automatically’ by building automation systems (EMS, BMS, DDC, etc.) although they typically error towards sauna or hurricane due to improper tuning.

Under correct operation, building automation systems should maintain proper airflow to keep comfort <1-degrees from active space setpoint while ensuring proper air exchanges, preventing tenants from being stuck in an ‘airplane’ environment of recirculated air.

2. Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

Does your office feel stuffy when it’s hot out? Or muggy when it’s cold? These obvious clues point to lack of proper air circulation or air exchanges in a building (ACH). Improper ACH typically occurs within 24-months post-installation resulting from:

  • Changes to minimum airflow settings to zones or individual offices.
  • Improper lockout sequencing to fresh air or economizer dampers
  • Improper control of airflow to zones

Most buildings suffer from a combination of the above three issues leading to 30-40% fresh air losses versus the ASHRAE minimum standard.

3. Energy Consumption

HVAC systems consume less than 50% of energy in most commercial buildings. Most of the energy loss is dictated by how much airflow is delivered throughout the building. Excessive airflow means running your fans too hard and tempering the air too much, leading to massive losses.

Most HVAC systems post-installation error heavily for comfort conditions often inadvertently sacrificing IAQ and energy savings. These setting adjustments typically include:

  • Economizer minimum damper position
  • Zone minimum airflow settings
  • Building pressurization setpoint

Merely adjusting these set points is extremely challenging and must be done on a seasonal basis, often eliminating any payback.

The proper balance between tenant comfort, indoor air quality, and energy savings is immensely challenging – often requiring constant tuning from onsite engineering staff. Additionally, The vast majority of buildings that suffer from one or two of the three listed symptoms are incapable of supporting an onsite, physical onsite engineer.

To combat these issues, Hank provides a true virtual engineer that is comparable to having a real engineer in every space constantly tuning for comfort, IAQ, and energy efficiency.  On average, Hank has been able to keep buildings at 1.5 times that of ASHRAE’s fresh air standard while lowering energy costs.  Click here to schedule a demo of our real-time IAQ dashboard and see for yourself how building owners are using advanced technologies to create healthy buildings.

Utilizing building automation to drive customer satisfaction and reduce service overhead

Automated HVAC Maintenance

How many hot or cold calls do you get from a property manager in a month? How many of those calls are software or building automation (BMS) related? How many of your technicians are qualified to work on these systems?

Evolve your HVAC maintenance with these ideas to drive down costs and improve satisfaction ratings

By: Zach Denning

How many hot or cold calls do you get from a property manager in a month? How many of those calls are software or building automation (BMS) related? How many of your technicians are qualified to work on these systems?

Building automation has evolved into the backbone of modern HVAC installations. Sites without control systems are like cars without cruise control – Nearly extinct!

35-55% of all hot and cold calls can either be repaired or identified through the BMS – Drastically reducing repair times and repeat service calls. Unfortunately, most HVAC service providers overlook these systems in lieu of sending a technician to the site.

Let’s take a look at a few different ways you can utilize automation to drive service value:

1. Partner with an automation provider or consultant – For service!

Many mechanical service providers currently have 2-3 automation companies they’re partnered with in case of system failures, retrofits or new construction. But what about service?

Partnering with an automation provider or consultant allows service providers to screen hot and cold calls before having to send out a technician. If the problem can’t be repaired remotely, your BMS partner is able to suggest potential “next steps” or repairs – Ensuring you get the correct technician for the job.

2. Recommend an analytics or fault-diagnostics to your customer

Analytics and fault-diagnostic systems help HVAC service providers and property management by monitoring equipment 24/7 for problems and inefficiencies. The average Preventative Maintenance (PM) contract has a technician onsite for 4-8 hours per quarter – Only 4-8% of the total equipment runtime!

Cloud-based platforms proactively find problems like worn valves, stuck dampers, failed thermostats and malfunctioning software – All before they impact tenants. Some analytic systems are even capable of quantifying the issues, helping service providers build business cases around replacing components before they fail.

3. Train technicians how to navigate common building automation systems

Investing time and money into technicians for training has to have a quick return. Choose at least 1-2 of the most common control systems (Tridium, Johnson Controls, Honeywell or Trane) and invest in training a few of  your more “tech-savvy” employees. Cost per class is typically $2-3k, at which time you can obtain licensed software from the manufacturers.

Your newly minted control technicians might not be able to program the latest Title-24 sequences, but they can surely troubleshoot common issues – Equating to quicker response times, fewer repeat issues and higher customer satisfaction.

 

Service providers must understand that building automation is no longer a “glorified time-clock” and these systems play a key role in efficiently identifying and repairing HVAC-related issues. Integrating automation into your HVAC services full-time ensures faster, more targeted responses to common issues.

 

 

My name is Zach Denning and I’m the CEO and owner of EnerDapt, Inc. We’re an HVAC engineering firm that utilizes cloud-based technology to bridge the technical and financial gaps commonly found in HVAC management. Our OCMS EnerVise platform keeps customers knowledgeable about their building including HVAC life-cycle costs, forecasted maintenance & upgrades, and equipment replacements.   You can reach me at [email protected] or visit our website at www.enerdapt.com

OCMS; Building Operating Cost Management

How to get the most out of your HVAC service contract without spending more

How much do you actually get for your HVAC preventative maintenance? Are you able to measure the savings versus not having a service contract at all? What can you do to start reducing HVAC related tenant complaints and get a handle on your energy bills?

How much do you actually get for your HVAC preventative maintenance? Are you able to measure the savings versus not having a service contract at all? What can you do to start reducing HVAC related tenant complaints and get a handle on your energy bills?

Evolving your HVAC service contracts to curb complaints and high energy bills!

By: Zach Denning

Preventative maintenance was originally designed to reduce emergency failures and ultimately HVAC related tenant calls. Most studies conclude that there are 12-15% maintenance savings in preventative over reactive service from proper inspection and upkeep of units – Much like maintaining a car!

As with HVAC service, we take our car in for oil changes at least once a year and have the added value of a mechanic checking other components to see if they’re failed. Or, at least that’s what we like to believe.

The reality is that we settle on the $19.95 oil change, drive away with brakes worn to the rotor, and get angry that the “mechanic” forgets to put back the oil plug. Why do we risk so much? Without understanding the actual risk of brake failure or how much you save with every oil change, preventative maintenance is like buying insurance – We only know the value when something goes wrong! Until then, we’ll settle on the cheapest provider.

Breaking down your preventative maintenance:

  • In our studies, we found the average 60k sq. ft. office building to cost between $2,500.00 – 3,200.00 annually for preventative maintenance
    • Technicians do visual and auditory inspection at least 6-8 hours per quarter.
  • The average office building operates a minimum of:
    • 55 hours per week
    • 220 hours per month
    • 2,640 hours annually

This means technicians are only onsite 8/660 hours per quarter – Or 1% of the total operating time of the building. How much can actually be accomplished in that amount of time? The extent of preventative maintenance you’re actually paying for is equivalent to a SpeeDee oil change! Technicians barely have enough time to replace filters, oil units and maybe check on a few lingering issues. Altogether, they’re missing about 55-60% of potential failures that directly lead to your tenants’ being impacted!

Using service to reduce tenant complaints and energy costs – Finding a solution!

The solution isn’t finding a new service provider or increasing existing contract amounts, it’s utilizing existing building technology to increase proactive management and realize savings.

With the advancements in building technology like automation and 24/7 monitoring managers can now get actionable data straight from the building without needing to extend existing service contracts. You still need somebody onsite for some visual and auditory analysis, but most buildings have the technology to notify managers about impending problems before they affect tenants.

The true value of preventative maintenance is finding and repairing issues before they lead to tenant impact and higher energy bills. Emerging building technologies are able to predict and quantify failures before they occur giving you the ability to prioritize repairs as an investment rather than cost impact – At a fraction of the cost of traditional onsite service! Managers and owners can now utilize technology to manage HVAC costs and budget upgrades in order to become proactive instead of reactive with their investments.

My name is Zach Denning and I’m the CEO and owner of EnerDapt, Inc. We’re an HVAC engineering firm that utilizes cloud-based technology to bridge the technical and financial gaps commonly found in HVAC management. Our OCMS EnerVise platform keeps customers knowledgeable about their building including HVAC life-cycle costs, forecasted maintenance & upgrades, and equipment replacements.   You can reach me at [email protected] or visit our website at www.enerdapt.com

OCMS; Building Operating Cost Management

No-Cost Proactive Building Maintenance

How do you quantify the value of your HVAC maintenance?

By: Zach Denning

How do you substantiate your HVAC preventative maintenance? What tangible results does your preventative maintenance deliver? Building technology has evolved to help you understand your equipment life-cycle costs to forecast maintenance. Performance-based, proactive maintenance can cover the cost of traditional HVAC preventative maintenance contracts and generate revenue to invest in high-priority maintenance.

How do you substantiate your HVAC preventative maintenance? What tangible results does your preventative maintenance deliver? Building technology has evolved to help you understand your equipment life-cycle costs to forecast maintenance. Performance-based, proactive maintenance can cover the cost of traditional HVAC preventative maintenance contracts and generate revenue to invest in high-priority maintenance.

How many times have you signed away thousands of dollars on preventative maintenance contracts out of necessity? Sometimes it’s due to a manufacturer warranty, while other times it’s simply due to the age of the equipment. Yet, without preventative maintenance equipment operation falls into a great unknown void.

You’re not alone – 98% of all building owners and operators happily fall in line with scheduled preventative maintenance in their buildings. Compared to reactive or “last-minute” repairs, preventative maintenance has been shown to save 10-15% on equipment life-cycle costs by ensuring proper running condition – Not optimal, just proper. But has your PM contract provider ever quantified those savings? Would you have reduced the contract amount knowing your HVAC equipment wouldn’t have failed? What if there was a quantifiable way to regularly maintain equipment?

Although preventative maintenance is good for observing and ensuring proper equipment condition, it doesn’t account for real-time operation or forecasting. Even with preventative maintenance, HVAC systems often run with 25-30% efficiency losses; compounded with mechanical degradation from the increased “wear-and-tear” and your system may incur almost 50% excess operating expense. In a recent survey, only 40% of all preventative maintenance contracts included efficiency testing, of which only 15% generated actionable intelligence!

Proactive, performance-based maintenance introduces quantifiable savings and real-time forecasting to routine HVAC maintenance. Utilizing cloud-based platforms, proactive maintenance discovers and quantifies issues while tracking life-cycle costs – Amounting to increased HVAC awareness and better, financially driven decisions. Proactive maintenance can generate operational savings 15-30% over traditional preventative maintenance while decreasing tenant complaints 40-50% through intuitive problem detection.

Armed with these new platforms, contractors can now offer performance based routine maintenance (PM) contracts where everyone benefits from increased building savings – Rather than defaulting to a fixed upfront cost. Performance-based routine maintenance  allows building owners to free up annual budgets and invest savings in sustainability efforts and high priority maintenance.  Before you sign your next preventative maintenance contract ensure that you can substantiate the costs!

 

My name is Zach Denning and I’m the CEO and owner of EnerDapt, Inc. We’re an HVAC engineering firm that utilizes cloud-based technology to bridge the technical and financial gaps commonly found in HVAC management strategies. Our OCMS EnerVise platform keeps customers knowledgeable about their building from life-cycle costs to forecasted maintenance, upgrades, andequipment replacements.   You can reach me at [email protected] or visit our website at www.enerdapt.com

OCMS; Building Operating Cost Management