Preventative Maintenance - What is the Cost of Comfort?
Preventative maintenance agreements (PMA's) are agreements between you and your mechanical contractor for scheduled inspections and maintenance of your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. PMA's are generally scheduled semi-annually to maintain peak efficiency, prevent utility overpayment, and avert system failures through predictive maintenance that can help extend the life of your HVAC system. PMA's usually consist of fall and spring scheduled sessions for the service technician to go through your entire HVAC system preparing it for the upcoming season in a proactive approach before system failure and prior to overpaying your utility company.
Preventative Maintenance Agreements = Savings
The HVAC system is most likely the single biggest use of energy in your home. In commercial applications where refrigeration is applied (combined with the HVAC systems), huge amounts of energy are used in the building. In fact, over 1/3rd of the energy used in the United States is used to heat and cool buildings. According to the Consortium of Energy Efficiency (CEE) up to 50% more energy can be saved with proper installation, sizing, and maintenance of commercial central air conditioning and heat pumps. “Although the CEE study did not measure residential systems, a compelling case can be made that proper maintenance can save homeowners up to 50% as well,” according to Larry Taylor, President of Air Rite A/C Company, Inc., Fort Worth, Texas.
Out of Sight, NOT Out of Mind
The old but true cliché “out of sight, out
of mind” is often the reason for
neglected maintenance guidelines for
your HVAC system. HVAC systems are
usually installed where they aren’t seen,
such as in a section of the basement, a
closet, on rooftops, or in mechanical
rooms, making them easy to ignore. The
systems are simply taken for granted,
until they fail. Decreased efficiency,
utility overpayment, discomfort, loss of
productivity, eventual premature
replacement, and higher repair costs are
What should I expect my service technician to do during a PMA visit?
■ Check system functions, safety controls,
and adjust the operating sequence
(preparation for summer season):
Fall Visit (preparation for winter season):
What’s the bottom line for me?
■ Savings: PMAs typically more than pay for themselves
through higher efficiency, less utility
overpayment, and contractor discounts. PMA
customers typically receive a discount on all parts
and services performed during the entire year.