Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance (PM)

Definition

Preventive maintenance is maintenance that is regularly performed on a piece of equipment to lessen the likelihood of it failing. Preventative maintenance is performed while the equipment is still working, so that it does not break down unexpectedly.

Preventive maintenance is planned so that any required resources are available.

Think of preventive HVAC and refrigeration maintenance the same way as you would for your car. If you don’t change the oil, replace belts and filters, soon your engine will seize up and the vehicle won’t operate.

HVAC

  • HVAC system maintenance isn’t expensive compared to what you might spend if your system degrades (and ultimately fails).
  • Rooftop HVAC units should have a minimum of four preventive maintenance checks each year, which include one cooling startup, and one heating startup. This includes one belt replacement, if applicable, and four filter changes. If your air conditioning unit and duct system will allow higher efficiency pleated filters, consider installing them. Usually, you can use a two-inch pleated filter in rooftop units under 30 tons. The pleated filter will provide additional rigidity that will protect the filter if it gets wet.
  • Lower energy costs: HVAC accounts for a significant portion of a building’s energy usage. Ensuring that units are well-maintained means that they run efficiently – and use less energy.
  • Fewer breakdown repair costs: It’s simple math: Fewer breakdowns means less breakdown repair costs.

Refrigeration

  • When equipment constantly breaks down or doesn’t perform to expectations, it’s often because there has never been any preventive maintenance – only emergency service. Remember, equipment is only as good as the service performed on it. All mechanical equipment needs periodic service to keep it in the best operating condition. Good service can mean the difference between a few mechanical malfunctions or continuous problems.
  • Problems caused by failure to maintain refrigeration equipment can be: increased utility bills, burnt wiring due to increased amp draw, failure of fan motors caused by dirty coils, failure of thermostat due to increased amp draw, failure of compressor due to dirty coils, restriction of metering device caused by overheated & damaged refrigerant oil, and many more!
  • When it comes to reliability of any equipment, preventive maintenance is a crucial factor. Failure to properly maintain commercial refrigeration will almost always lead to costly repairs and loss of product. As Murphy’s Law would have it, these breakdowns usually occur at the most inopportune times like nights and weekends. It is at these times that service of coolers and freezers comes at a premium. Failure to properly maintain equipment also causes much higher utility bills and shortens life of equipment. To properly maintain a system, all major components should be included in the maintenance schedule. These include the evaporator(s), compressor unit and the condenser.
  • The benefits of a thorough PM program are extensive. It will more than pay for itself in energy savings and reduce the total lifecycle cost of your equipment. Increases the equipment life expectancy and reduces the risk of product loss. Some benefits of routine maintenance are: reduced electrical consumption, less equipment breakdown, lower service and repair costs, longer equipment life, fresher product, reduced product spoilage, decreases the chance of emergency service due to neglect, decreases stress, and the list could go on.