What is Preventative Maintenance?



Definition

Preventative maintenance is strategy for maintaining equipment that is regularly performed before failures occur. Generally, preventative maintenance is on a calendar-based scheduled. An example is an HVAC unit which is serviced every year, before summer.


Why it Matters

When operating a building, the strategy that is implemented to maintain normal operations has profound effects on energy consumption, equipment repair costs, and the health and comfort of tenants. Some companies implement tenant preventative maintenance strategies such as automatic ticketing to engage tenants and build a dataset for developing preventative maintenance schedules in the future. Other companies use a building monitoring system to build that data set with data from equipment systems themselves.


Advantages of preventative maintenance

  • Better planning, which leads to benefits in cost control, prioritization, and benchmarking
  • Equipment can be shut down to coincide with occupancy downtime
  • Prior to the shutdown, any required parts, supplies and personnel can be gathered to minimize the time taken for a repair

Disadvantages of preventative maintenance

  • Preventative maintenance is more complex to coordinate than reactive maintenance because the maintenance schedule must be planned
  • The frequency of preventative maintenance is most likely too high. This frequency can be lowered, without sacrificing reliability when condition monitoring and analysis is used


Below is an graphical representation of preventative maintenance being performed on a fan coil unit. As maintenance is performed, the unit increases demand, indicating full capacity. As the unit funs, it gradually decreases it's demand and increases the liklihood of failure.

Tenant preventative maintenance on a fan coil unit

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