Back in the early 20th century, before the widespread use of air conditioning, summer was a very slow time of year for the movie industry. Most movie theaters didn’t have windows and would get stiflingly hot, so customers stayed away until the weather cooled.
But in 1925, Willis Carrier installed an air conditioning system into a movie theater in Times Square. Almost overnight, customers began pouring into cool, comfortable movie theaters across the country, and the Golden Age of Hollywood was born.
So what does this have to do with maintaining your commercial HVAC system today? Well, it illustrates a point that still holds true today: Keeping people comfortable in your buildings can help to improve profitability. In fact, regular maintenance on your commercial HVAC can both increase revenues and decrease operating costs.
First, let’s look at some ways that reliable, effective HVAC systems can improve revenues. As the example above illustrates, customers and clients will come back to places where they are comfortable and avoid ones where they’ll be too hot or too cold. The same holds true for tenants. If they’re unable to keep their space sufficiently comfortable, then they may begin looking elsewhere. Several studies have shown HVAC’s effects on worker productivity as well. Both too high and too low temperatures can slow down work and lead to increased errors.
Regular maintenance can help to ensure consistent airflow across all work spaces so that everyone stays at a comfortable, productive temperature. And it can improve indoor air quality, another important factor in both the comfort and health of customers and employees. After all, nobody wants to shop in a store that smells musty or work in an environment where mold spores in the air ducts may be making them sick.
Plus, HVAC systems that aren’t regularly maintained tend to break down much more frequently. During an Alabama summer, a non-functioning air conditioner can easily lead to having to shut down a business or other facility completely until it can be fixed, cutting into production and sales. HVAC systems can be easy to overlook when they’re working, but when they fail, you quickly realize how important they are.
Furthermore, regular maintenance on your HVAC system can actually decrease your operating costs in the long term. Maintenance is an investment you make that pays off in lower repair/replacement costs as well as decreased energy bills. For instance, FacilitiesNet.com explains that properly maintaining HVAC systems will decrease energy bills by 15-20%, compared to running HVAC without maintenance. Well-maintained HVACs can not only run more efficiently, but also last longer with fewer expensive repairs. Added all together, FacilitiesNet.com estimates that HVAC operating costs will actually be 50% lower with regular preventive maintenance.
Ultimately, when you consider the impact of HVAC systems on both revenue and costs, the question isn’t whether you can afford to have regular maintenance performed on your commercial HVAC system. The real question is, can you afford not to?