A New Year is almost here and with it comes the opportunity to get a great start by making some New Year’s maintenance resolutions. 2011 has been a rough year for many industries and many saw their maintenance budgets cut resulting in fewer proactive maintenance tasks being performed.

Beating Maintenance Budget Cuts in 2012

There are a couple of ways maintenance management can handle reduced budgets and still get the most from their assets in 2012. One way of course is to make sure you are getting the most out of your EAMCMMS system.

The other way (with or without an EAM CMMS) is to literally clean house as part of wintertime maintenance. As part of the cleaning process, maintenance staff should be trained to perform inspections in order to identify problems that could become major repair/replacement issues or energy money pits.

“Cleaning is inspection! With over 17 years of TPM/TPR implementation experience, it still amazes me how effective cleaning is at exposing defects. I have learned that if I see dirt, I will find defects when we clean.”

Source: Greg Folts, President, Marshall Institute

Maintenance and Cleaning for 2012

10 Maintenance Cleaning and Inspections Resolutions for 2012

  1. Make sure all electrical connections are tight: Poor connections can cause electrical failures, severe safety hazards and shorten the useful lifecycle of assets. Infrared thermography is a good tool to use for making sure electrical connections are good.
  2. Check and inspect the condensate drains: Clogged drains cause water leakage damaging surrounding areas plus causes unnecessary corrosion to surrounding metals.
  3. Clean evaporator and condenser air conditioning coils: Without preventive maintenance dirty coils cause the system to run longer in order to produce the same heating/cooling results, decreasing the useful lifecycle and increasing energy costs. Do not clean them with water to avoid speeding up corrosion problems.
  4. Clean and adjust blower components: Often overlooked, if the fans are not working properly, airflow efficiency can decrease 15% or more significantly increasing energy costs.
  5. Inspect, clean, or change air filters (once a month is highly preferable): The most basic of all preventive maintenance tasks on HVAC equipment. Clogged filters reduce airflow causing HVAC equipment to work harder to achieve the same heating and cooling output. Clogged filters are the number one reason for shortening HVAC unit’s life expectancy and driving up energy costs.
  6. Check the ducts. HVAC units cause vibrations and pressure changes. Over time this can cause duct work to become loose at the joints wasting heat or A/C in areas that do not need HVAC. Make sure all duct work is sealed. It is also a great idea to check inside the ducts for corrosion or dust buildup. Periodic preventive maintenance of cleaning duct work should be scheduled.

“To ensure that as much warm air as possible is delivered through your central system, check the ductwork and wrap any leaks with duct mastic. Distribution losses (what’s lost while air is transported from your furnace through ductwork to the vents) often amounts to 30%. So, sealing ductwork could increase efficiency and the warm air you receive considerably …”

Source: United States Environmental Protection Agency

  1. Conduct Annual Boiler Cleanings: Preventive maintenance of boilers saves energy, reduces costly repairs from soot buildup inside components and helps avoid emergency shutdowns.

“1⁄32 of an inch of soot in a building’s boiler can cause a 9.5 percent loss of energy efficiency.”

Source: Bill Zielinski

  1. Perform An Annual Steam Trap Inspection: Without preventive maintenance, dirt and debris clogs the trap preventing the trap from sealing as well as other problems as the result of humidity and condensation. Inspecting steam traps informs maintenance management when the traps will need maintenance.
  2. Clean carpets. Replacing carpets can be very expensive. Cleaning them on a regular basis increases the longevity of carpets by preventing soil and oils from burrowing deep into the carpet pile as once a carpet has become saturated with dirt and oil it loses all effectiveness.
  3. The final cleaning and inspecting resolution is to record the results of all inspections and store them in a CMMS program in order to compare the results for next year as well as identify the changes in energy and repairs costs as a result of cleaning.

Having a clean facility is not a luxury or the result of maintenance crews having too much time on their hands. A clean facility signifies a well-run maintenance department and an organization that does not let operating expenses get wasted on energy or unnecessary repairs.