One of the more burdensome tasks faced by facility managers is planning and tracking their company’s annual comsmercial HVAC maintenance and repair budget. An especially challenging line item in the budget is the upkeep of the HVAC system. HVAC systems in large facilities are so complex and expensive, it’s sometimes difficult to capture the costs. But without appropriately funded maintenance, your HVAC system risks breakdowns and potential early replacement
Calculate Your Commercial HVAC Annual Expenditures
HVAC budgets should include planning for routine repairs, establishing a preventive maintenance program, and long-term accounting for equipment replacements. In addition, starting a repair budget includes reviewing work orders, repair receipts, and spare parts purchases from previous years. Calculate how much the maintenance department spent on HVAC repairs in the past to predict what the costs may be in the future
. Part of the repair budget should be to restock your spare parts inventory like filters, motors, and fans as well as expendables like refrigerant, oil, and cleaning chemicals. Keep in mind, equipment vendors are happy to help plan out what spare parts and accessories you need this year and what may be needed in the future. Using their pricing data and parts list along with your facility’s historic costs will help you accurately calculate this year’s repair budget.
1 Key Strategy To Maintain Your HVAC Annual Budget
One of the best ways to keep costs under control is to put the HVAC equipment on a preventative maintenance (PM) program
. PM tasks include filter changes, greasing bearings, coil cleaning, and tightening electrical connections. Studies show that regularly maintained equipment breaks down less
often and has a longer operating life. This work can be done in-house by technicians familiar with PM tasks or, if your staff lacks this expertise or are too busy, consider contracting the work to a licensed HVAC service company. Furthermore, a good contractor can give you a quote on a variety of commercial HVAC maintenance and repair options from basic monthly filter changes to full-service plans that include spare parts and emergency service. Knowing what the PM program costs up front lets you accurately budget for the year ahead and with the added peace of mind that the risk of a major equipment failure is reduced.
Creating A Commercial HVAC Maintenance and Repair Slush Fund
But, even the most comprehensive maintenance agreements cannot predict the exact time equipment will fail and HVAC repair budget
s must include funds for future equipment replacements. An HVAC contractor
can provide an estimate of how much life may be left before the equipment must be replaced. Knowing the projected lifespan and the cost of replacement, facility managers and their finance department can create an equipment replacement fund. This money can be used for a planned replacement or as a rainy-day fund when the inevitable breakdown occurs. Any facility manager knows the expression “fail to plan, plan to fail.” This is true of every aspect of the job including preparing the annual commercial HVAC maintenance and repair budget. Using historical repair data, working with service contractors, and planning for future replacements, facility managers can provide their companies with realistic budgets and back-up their funding requests with good data.