Start with a diagnostic (basically an audit of current maintenance activities) followed by a broad brush initial assessment to identify areas for improvement, then a detailed justification of individual projects selecting specific methods to achieve overall business objectives.
Good HVAC maintenance begins with a commitment from the top of the organisation to develop a corporate policy on maintenance, repair and overhaul that is unified and clearly communicated. From here, an effective maintenance strategy can be developed with the policies (aims) and strategies (the means for achieving the aims) sometimes combined into a single document.
A maintenance policy is a written statement that defines the standards to which a building and its services will be maintained. The policy will typically contain a list of the maintenance goals; an outline of the maintenance strategy, and key performance indicators to measure progress in the maintenance programme.
The maintenance strategy can contain one or a mix of types of maintenance including corrective, preventative, predictive and reliability-centred (see the box).
Dirty equipment is disproportionately responsible for HVAC equipment failures. A simple cleaning regime will allow fan motors to run more efficiently, coils to remain unsoiled for longer and less frequent changes required for internal filters.
Good housekeeping practice is part of good maintenance. So, set timers so that there is no cooling when the building is unoccupied. Avoid out-of-hours operation. Check temperature settings. Clean ductwork, fans and grilles regularly.
Finally, protecting physical assets such as the HVAC system is all very well, but your most important asset is people. Protecting them is paramount so ensure that they can gain safe access to equipment that is to be maintained.