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Make Sure New HVAC Systems Are Designed for Maintainability 

April 20, 2009 - Design & Construction

I’m Ed Sullivan, editor of Building Operating Management magazine. Today’s topic is the importance of keeping maintenance in mind when designing new HVAC systems.

Facility executives have a lot to keep in mind when new HVAC systems are being designed. But there’s an important point that’s often overlooked: the maintainability of the system being designed.

Good maintenance is crucial to the operation of HVAC units. Without good maintenance, energy costs will rise, and equipment will need more frequent repairs and ultimately will fail sooner. The result will be significantly higher life cycle costs.
Designing for maintainability isn’t conceptually difficult. The biggest thing is to give HVAC mechanics the space to do their jobs. Mechanics need to be able to reach valves, access hatches, filters in air handling units, and so on. Moreover, they need room around the equipment. Taken together, those two points mean that HVAC units can’t be crammed into the least amount of space possible.

The good news is that many new HVAC systems are designed for ease of maintenance. That will make it far easier for facility executives who want to ensure that the new HVAC system will operate at the lowest possible life cycle cost.


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