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What Preventive Maintenance Can and Can’t Do

It is not all that uncommon for us to be asked, Why is it that I am spending money on a preventive maintenance program but am still faced with repair costs? Isn’t the purpose of preventive maintenance to keep things from breaking down?”

 The reality is, that while committing to a routine preventive maintenance program will decrease maintenance costs and emergency repairs, it will not eliminate them.

Here are the things you CAN expect your PM program to do:
*Decrease maintenance costs
*Decrease emergency repairs
*Protect building occupants from poor Indoor
*Air Quality (IAQ)
*Extend the life of your HVAC system and its
components
*Reduce downtime and loss of productivity
*Decrease interruptions to building operations
*Reduce energy usage (some estimates put it
at 15—20%)

Having said that, though, you need to team up with a mechanical contractor who has the depth of experience and talent to properly execute a preventive maintenance program.  In addition, they should be committed to a thorough understanding of your entire system if maximum benefits are to be realized.  However, even the very best mechanical contractor cannot guarantee a world free of repairs as a result of participating in a preventive maintenance program.  So many factors are beyond the control of a facility manager and their mechanical partner that budgets to cover repairs and/or replacements must still be accounted for.

Here are the things you CANNOT expect your PM program to account for:
*Aging equipment and/or equipment nearing the end
of its useful life
*Extreme temperature fluctuations and sustained
extremes
*Previous neglect
*Poor quality equipment
*Normal wear and tear
*Building use other than what the system was initially
designed to support
*Poor initial system design

At the end of the day, just remember one thing……………………
MECHANICAL PARTS WILL FAIL.  If you don’t, you will set yourself and others up for unrealistic expectations where preventive maintenance is concerned.  

What a PM Program Can and Cannot Do