Performing HVAC preventative maintenance was once considered to be the gold standard for HVAC contractors. It offered the opportunity to maintain revenue streams and keep customer assets running. Unfortunately, that approach still relied on outdated, analog, and reactive processes. Commercial building owners were effectively paying for unnecessary maintenance that may not have needed to be performed. But, the age of the Internet, connected devices, and advanced analytics have changed the game to allow HVAC contractors to move into a new approach of HVAC predictive maintenance, ensuring people only pay for what they actually need.
Unlike traditional approaches to HVAC maintenance, an HVAC predictive maintenance program helps to keep all costs under control and allow informed decision-making by facility managers and building owners. For example, multi-unit business owners, hospitals, schools, and small business owners can all take advantage of predictive capabilities as the cost of analytics and connected devices has decreased. In turn, that data holds immense value, ensuring services performed as needed and not on an arbitrary calendar schedule.
Eliminating the need to perform maintenance based on outdated scheduling practices frees site resources to focus on more pressing concerns, such as increasing guest experiences and maximizing comfort. In fact, the advanced capabilities within smart thermostats and connected HVAC systems, including app controls to adjust temperatures and ongoing unity analysis to increase energy savings through optimization, adds value. These functions allow for remote management, eliminating the need to visit physical locations to see what is happening with an asset when the smallest issues arise and prevents business downtime.
As an example, an HVAC contractor client of HYTECH 24/7 had a customer reach out to address an issue about high humidity levels. With assistance from the HYTECH Analysts, the HVAC contractor was able to look through past data for that facility and discover the origin of the issue. They found that the fans were left on a permanent run cycle when a test by building engineers occurred a month prior. This was circulating additional humidity into the facility from damp evaporator coils and constant fan runtime. HYTECH and the contractor made the change back to an auto fan schedule that solved the problem for the facility in 15 minutes without dispatching a valued technician.
This customer “win” added immense value to the customer, the HVAC contractor, and their relationship. The customer has their HVAC issue fixed quickly and covered under a monthly monitoring payment. The HVAC contractor did not need to scramble a technician from another job to service this important customer, improving the service departments’ call throughput that day. This is “Digital HVAC” service in practice, and it’s the way the industry needs to pivot to stay profitable and provide proactive, predictive service for clients.
HVAC predictive maintenance offers significant advantages for using data, including guiding decision-making processes to alleviate the strain for HVAC contractors. Since the data reveals the status of a unit, technicians can eliminate the hassle of diagnosing problems, saving costs for customers, and correcting issues much faster. Of course, it all relies on the consistent, accurate flow of data from HVAC systems to wicked smart analytics to uncover trends within unit performance and what is necessary to achieve an optimal result. As further reported by Angela D. Harris via ACHR News, “In essence, predictive maintenance gathers and monitors data points from equipment in order to keep it from failing and to ensure efficiency. Based on this information, contractors can leverage insight that wasn’t available in the past. The theory is that predictive maintenance will eventually bring an end to catastrophic failures that result in extensive downtime and expense.”
Smart thermostats that intuitively collect data and analytics ensure service is only performed as needed. This amounts to fewer truck rolls, faster intervention when a system triggers an alert, and the ability to provide more value to customers. In turn, it creates lasting revenue streams for HVAC contracts through establishing a better rapport and degree of trust between the contractor and system owner.
HVAC contractors and facilities managers should work together, following these tips to deploy HVAC predictive maintenance:
Of course, the simplest way to apply these steps is for HVAC contractors to choose an expert, such as HYTECH 24/7, to take a one-and-done approach to implementation.
Predictive maintenance is the best way to achieve savings and long-term revenue gains for HVAC contractors, and it is clearly the win-win for system owners as well. Learn more about how to get started with a predictive maintenance program by visiting Hytech online today.
With over 40 years experience in the industry, Chip is innovating and invigorating HVAC Service contracting. Graduating from Southern Methodist University in Industrial Engineering, gaining his Professional Engineer License, and leading a $120 million mechanical contractor since 1999, Chip has achieved “HVAC Expert” status. His out-of-the-box thinking creates an exciting corporate environment and HYTECH 24/7 has become a leader in HVAC Service As A Software, predictive analytics, 24/7 monitoring, data analysis, alert monitoring and verification, condensate leak protection, digital maintenance and a patent-pending HYLTH-E Card. In his spare time, Chip enjoys his family, his faith, wake surfing, pickleball, spike ball, inshore fishing for snook, golf, biking, watersports, good bourbon, and traveling.