How to Evaluate HVAC Preventative Maintenance Plans

Standard_Practice_Maintenance_of_Commercial_Building_HVAC_Systems


Seven Key Preventative Maintenance Questions for Your HVAC Contractor

The HVAC planned maintenance plans that contractors offer vary in scope and pricing from all inclusive to minimal inspection and filter change.  The first step in choosing a contractor is to know what basic items are included in competing contractors’ maintenance plans in order to effectively compare relative plan values.   The following is exerted from a 2014 ACCA document that can be viewed here.   The seven questions below will help you evaluate maintenance proposals.  The questions are designed to help you determine whether or not the contractor is complying with industry recognized standard maintenance practices.  

  1. If so required under your jurisdiction, is the company licensed to do the work?  You should only hire contractors that are compliant with your licensing requirements.
  2. How long will the maintenance inspection take?  A complete HVAC system inspection will take approximately 60 minutes per HVAC system (less time generally=less inspected)
  3. Did the contractor inquire how the system has been operating and whether you have any concerns or issues?  This understanding provides a better basis for assessing equipment operation and will better enable the contractor to meet your expectations.
  4. Does the maintenance agreement include a safety inspection to make sure the HVAC system is installed according to code?  Safety hazards that are not obvious to you will be immediately recognized by a trained technician and reported to you.
  5. Will the contractor review the Standard 180 based maintenance requirements for your varied HVAC systems with you?  Maintenance plans are based on the kind of equipment you have and the level of service you have contracted for.  Additionally, some maintenance tasks like changing filters may need to be performed between contractor visits.
  6. Does the contractors maintenance plan include evaluating the equipment performance?  HVAC system performance must be checked for your HVAC equipment to operate efficiently.
  7. Will the contractor review the maintenance issues with you?  It is important for you to understand what was found during the scheduled maintenance visit especially if corrective action is required.

Request a PM Quote

After the interview, you will have an indication as to whether the contractors’ proposed services meet the requirements in the Standard Practice for Inspection and Maintenance of Commercial Building HVAC Systems (ANSI/ASHRAE/ACCA Standard 180-2012).  

Always remember that before signing any agreement, you should compare the contractor’s written maintenance agreement plan with the interview responses to make sure that they are the same.  The time to clarify questions is before the contract is signed.

A partial/low bid maintenance plan may seem appealing from an immediate economic point of view, but you should consider the hidden costs that come with one.  Hidden costs can include higher operating expenses and an increased likelihood of early equipment failure and replacement.  

 

Posted by Comprehensive Energy Services

Comprehensive Energy Services, Inc. is an award-winning, self performing provider and recognized leader in Design Build and Maintain Mechanical Contracting and Plumbing; providing a full range of advanced HVAC commercial, healthcare, and industrial services, including mechanical engineering design, mechanical construction, plumbing, IAQ, preventative maintenance and system maintenance throughout Florida.

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