How can I save money on energy by improving my maintenance program?
By improving maintenance programs, companies can save tons of money. Specifically, focusing on HVAC systems, older equipment, and much more can translate into huge bottom line savings. In many cases, these small changes can help you make lasting, long-term investments in maintenance programs.
What are some of these ways? How can companies efficiently change and improve their maintenance programs to save energy? And where do those extra resources come from for a company?
In this article, we tackle these questions and provide recommendations on how to make overall improvements to your maintenance program.
Where improvements can be made
In general, these systems and assets are most in need of improvements that also save energy:
- HVAC systems
- Older equipment that is still being used on a regular basis
- General maintenance systems
- Lighting systems
- And more, depending on your company
Let’s take a look at each one and where it wastes energy and money.
HVAC systems are one of those systems that people tend to forget about. This means that older systems could be wasting energy and money, due to improvements that have not been made.
It is harder to insulate a building if it has windows, which could translate into more energy usage. Out of date windows or older models could be costing companies more than anyone thinks.
It’s tempting to think that when something still works, people can still use it. When equipment is older, it could be another source of wasted energy behind the scenes, due to higher energy requirements to sustain the equipment. For example, an older refrigerator requires higher voltages of power for it to operate.
General maintenance systems
Maintenance systems are easy to put on a routine and keep them there. Sometimes, this goes on for years and the needs of the company change as well. This creates inefficiency. Therefore, it's important to assess whether scheduled maintenance matches business needs continually as the company grows.
Finally, when was the last time lights were changed before they burnt out? Older lighting systems can also take up energy.
Most of the time, people don’t think about maintaining these systems. The maintenance that does happen on these systems is only when they break down, or become noticeably inefficient. This is called reactive maintenance. Due to the nature of this type of maintenance, it tends to be expensive and rushed.
Both of these things waste energy over time. That’s before you include such things as human error, simple mistakes over time, and other gaps in your maintenance program. How can companies cut down on these leaks?
3 Ways to Improve your Maintenance Program
1. Evaluate your Maintenance Program and Strategy
The first step in saving energy is by evaluating your maintenance program and strategy. This lets you see where different gaps are in your current maintenance plan.
2. Learn about your Maintenance Options
Next, learning about your maintenance options enables you and your company see which processes may be most beneficial in the long run. For example, you may want to set in place reliability centered maintenance before you implement a preventive maintenance plan.
3. Use a CMMS
Finally, consider a CMMS (computerized maintenance management system) to pull all your maintenance efforts together in an orderly, effective, and centralized way.
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