As an owner of a commercial building, one of your top priorities is to keep monthly costs as low as possible. There’s the monthly expenses that are consistent month after month – things like your heating and electrical expenses – and then there are those unexpected problems that arise without warning, sometimes crippling the projected budget you had set aside.
When income comes in according to plan, and expenses remain at their budgeted amount, life is good. Then trouble arises. Income drops. An unexpected problem occurs. And soon you’re scrambling to make everything come together. That’s the ebb and flow of life as a property manager.
When a building is first built, the entire HVAC system is brand new. Vents, fans, compressors, chillers, ducts – everything is new, brought in from the factory floors and installed to provide you with top quality service. Warranties are fresh and provide you with a sense of security.
Yet that only lasts a while. Because of the size and the scope of the HVAC system, it quickly falls victim to the “handyman” approach, having a piece repaired here, and a piece replaced there. In just a few short years, your HVAC system can be a hodge podge of equipment, some of it matching, and some of it fighting for the power to do what its supposed to do.
We see property managers handle their HVAC systems in one of two ways.
1. The first approaches their expenses on an “as needed” basis. They spend money only when they have to, repair things only when they break, spend the lowest amount they can on repairs, and only replace when there is no other alternative.
2. The second approaches it by realizing that a system well maintained will provide the longest life possible. They schedule regular maintenance to always stay ahead of the curve. They work with the same company for all routine maintenance, repair and replacement jobs. They make small repairs before they reach a critical stage. They are comfortable replacing things to avoid future problems.
Two different approaches; two different outcomes.
Which is more expensive in the long run?
With the first approach, the property manager can go months without the costs of repair and maintenance. Yet when a problem arises, the cost to fix it can quickly escalate. If a small part isn’t replaced when it first becomes a problem, it can put a drain on the rest of the system, even doing irreparable damage to some of the largest components. Instead of making a minor repair when it occurs, a few months of wear can increase the cost tenfold.
The second approach will cost more by having to pay for a regular maintenance program, but it allows a technician to find small items as they wear down or fail, stopping it from becoming a major repair down the road.
There is no right or wrong choice; its simply a decision you’ll have to weigh and determine which is the most effective way for you to run your property.
If the right decision for you is to schedule a regular maintenance program to ensure your HVAC unit is always working at its optimal level, we’d be happy to talk with you on how easy it can be.