You have done your due diligence, had a walk through of the facility with your HVAC contractor, finalized schedules and responsibilities. Here are some tips on how property managers, facility managers and building owners can be proactive on the HVAC Maintenance, repair or service schedules and avoid waiting chargers, losing on their precious time and eventually have a smooth operational process.
1. Safe and Proper Building Access
Proper and safe access to the work area provided by the building user, including the temporary interruption of a security system (where applicable) should be cleared properly before your contractor can begin the scope of work.
2. For Outdoor/Roof-mounted units:
Designated safe access to the roof-top units, including the unlocking of respective access doors, ladders and hatches.
Designated safe method of waste or garbage removal from the roof to the waste bin.
Notify your operations accordingly about the service and possible temporary interruptions while the HVAC contractor is doing the preventative maintenance checks and simulations.
3. For Overhead Unit Heaters, and Process-Related Ventilators (Working At Heights)
Access to an operational scissor-lift at your facility. Working with ladders has been prone to accidents/incidents due to the limitations of the service technician to ensure 3-Point Contact while servicing overhead equipment – OHSA Clause 25(2); 27(1, 2); 28(1,2); OHSA Reg 213/91; Reg 851(73)
Safe access to the service work area. Facilitate the removal of materials that may affect or block the service work area.
Proper communication of the activities with your internal departmentsabout the service being performed or scheduled.
4.Proper and adequate Lockout/Tagout Provisions for individual equipment.
All Energy Sources like Electrical, Gas, Pneumatic, Hydraulic should have proper isolation/disconnect/lockout procedure performed prior to servicing particular equipment.
The gradual temperature drop that we are experiencing everyday, is hinting us to brace ourselves for what is coming in the following months. As we do that, let us also ask a few questions about the HVAC contractor we are going to hire for the Preventive Maintenance and winter breakdown calls.
So, let us begin with the following questions:
How long has your HVAC contractor been in Business?
It is always a good metric to know how many years has your contractor been serving their clients, how many different kinds of industries they cater to, and what expertise they have in the commercial and industrial HVAC sector. Commercial HVAC equipment, unlike the residential furnaces, have sophisticated controls and specific troubleshooting and maintenance standards. The air-cooled and water-cooled chillers, industrial boilers, process cooling equipment, process gas ovens, heat pumps, roof top packaged units, precision air conditioning for server rooms need an experienced pair of hands to be worked upon.
The Technology Web
You may not look at your HVAC contractor as a tech company but in today’s world it is almost a necessity to have web notifications of all tasks, services, reminders, pending approvals at a touch of a button. A customer online portal ensures that you don’t always have to unlock your phone and dial a number for a breakdown issue. You may be in an important meeting and still do the same online.
What is the Organisational Structure?
A properly organised operations and business team, with adequate number of field technicians can ensure proper prioritization of the services offered. Make sure you have more options from the same HVAC contractor in case of multiple breakdowns at different locations. Your valuable business can be at stake if it is dependent on a one-man show and they get too busy on another job.
Your contractor can also play an important role in growing your organisation by supporting your building facility’s operations and making sure things get attended to and fix as soon as they come up. Just like before hiring a new employee, ask for referrals from your HVAC contractor and talk to them about the service experience.