In 2008, the corporation introduced "Just Venting" as "a blog for HVAC professionals and others who want to learn more about the environmental, technological, social, economic, and personal aspects of this industry." A year later, that blog published "Predictive Maintenance Saves Energy, Time and Money," by Rich Silverman.
Silverman quickly arrives at the key advantage offered by predictive maintenance: "Reactive maintenance is always too late--the problem has already occurred. And, preventative maintenance, while better than reactive, still offers no guarantee that the work is being done at the optimal time." By contrast, predictive maintenance, "can maximize system performance and uptime, reduce maintenance costs for both labor and materials, enhance indoor air quality, and lengthen the life of your equipment" through "ongoing, continuous measurement of key performance parameters of your equipment, such as voltage draws, or vibration levels, or the particulate contamination of oil to determine when equipment needs to be maintained."
Like any system, predictive maintenance has costs. "Sometimes," Silverman observes, " 'the powers that be' hesitate to approve these types of expenses because of the do-more-with-less requirement they work with every day. Maintenance can often times be viewed as an overhead line item, and overhead is something to be reduced."
That may be penny wise and pound foolish. Using a compressor as an example, the author notes, Predictive maintenance...will eliminate the need for expensive emergency repairs. You'll be able to do maintenance on a weekend, when no one is in the building to complain about the heat. And, you will extend the usable life of the compressor by eliminating the [excessive] vibration before it causes catastrophic damage."
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, buildings consume almost 40 percent of the electricity used in the entire country. As Silverman notes, "It's entirely possible that a fine-tuned HVAC system will save more money than the cost of fine-tuning....And, that should persuade management that predictive maintenance makes good business sense."
You might even say that predictive maintenance in a Goodway of doing business.
Photo illustration by Christopher Shannon/KCF Technologies. All rights reserved.