Good, Better, Best: 3 Maintenance Programs for your HVAC System

May 17, 2018  •  Alayna Giesting

About Daikin: Daikin Applied is a wholly owned subsidiary of Daikin Industries, Ltd., the largest air conditioning manufacturer in the world. Product innovation is a hallmark at Daikin Applied. Whether it’s customizing the perfect maintenance program or designing an energy efficiency project, Daikin Applied finds solutions that best fit their customers wants and needs to make their facilities the most effective they can be.


Meet Steve

Steve is a Senior Account Manager with Daikin Applied. He has been in the HVAC industry for over seven years working with customers to design maintenance programs, find energy efficient opportunities, and discover the best solutions for replacement equipment or repairs. He has been a member of IFMA for ten years building his network of professional experts. When he’s not busy being the HVAC guru, you can find him spending time with his wife and kid.


With the summer heat rolling in, you may wish that you had already prepared for these long, hot days by giving your HVAC system a little TLC. Lucky for you, it might not be too late! Now is a great time to choose and implement a maintenance program for your HVAC system because the last thing you want is to be stuck without air conditioning on a 95-degree day! So, let’s take a look at some of the different programs you can implement in your facilities to maintain your HVAC this summer.

Choosing an HVAC maintenance program

When choosing a maintenance program for your HVAC system, there are many things that you need to take into consideration such as budget, in-house staff, the equipment necessary to your operations, and more. It’s important to keep in mind that each facility will have different needs even if they are within the same organization.

There are three major types of maintenance programs: test and inspect, standard maintenance, and comprehensive maintenance. Each program has its place in an organization and in most cases you can customize the program to fit your needs and budget:

1. Test and inspect program

The test and inspect program is the most basic program that consists of only one or two inspections per year. During these inspections, a technician will take a very basic look into a piece of equipment’s functionality. Typically, it will include filter changes but not a condenser or coil cleaning. This type of program usually does not meet manufacturers’ recommendations, which can be found in the owner’s manual for the unit. Each unit and manufacturer has different requirements, so make sure that you pay close attention to the manual’s recommendations. While implementing this program is better than doing nothing, you should only choose this inspection if all other options aren’t feasible.

2. The standard maintenance program

The standard maintenance program is more in depth than the test and inspect program, and consists of two to four inspections per year. It will have a pre-cool / pre-heat inspection, in which a technician will take a deep dive into the equipment to make sure it is running at optimal efficiency before the correlating season starts. This program typically has a condenser or coil cleaning and includes filter changes. There may also be two operational visits that take place when the equipment is working its hardest to ensure it is functioning properly. Implementing this type of program will most likely meet manufacturers’ recommendations.

3. The comprehensive program

The final program is what is called a comprehensive program, and is commonly compared to an insurance policy. Of all the programs, this one will vary the most from site to site and service provider to service provider. At its very core, the comprehensive program will include four or more inspection visits per year including a pre-heat / pre-cool inspection, two or more operational inspections per year, and a condenser or coil cleaning. It usually includes service calls and parts and labor for repairs, which will definitely be a nice benefit down the road. This program meets almost all manufacturers’ recommendations, but with all the ways that this program can vary, it’s important to have a clear scope of work for all projects and equipment.

Because establishing and executing a preventive maintenance plan can save 33-50% of maintenance expenditures, it only makes sense that you implement a plan for your HVAC system. While you’re searching for the best option for your organization, be sure you know what you are currently doing and what you plan to accomplish with the changes that are going to be made.  You should include someone from the facilities department, finance department and an expert in the HVAC industry to make sure that the program checks off all of the right boxes.

How FMX can help: No matter which maintenance program you decide is best suited for your organization, FMX can help keep you up-to-date on all your inspections. With FMX’s planned maintenance module, not only will you be reminded of an upcoming inspection, but you can also create step-by-step instruction sets for inspecting HVAC units. Assigned technicians or vendors must check off each step before they can close out a task, which ensures that all necessary procedures are taking place. When the assignee has completed the inspection and they’re closing out the task in FMX, they can log their worker hours as well as any inventory used to repair or maintain the HVAC unit. This will automatically calculate the labor and inventory cost associated with that PM task, which you can use when tracking costs for upcoming budget discussions or audits.

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