Facilities are more than just buildings with a bunch of equipment. Facilities are buildings containing equipment designed to provide a comfortable environment for the people inside them. Seldom do the occupants of a facility give much thought to what it takes to operate it effectively. In this day and age, it goes without saying that people expect a building to have not only running water and electricity, but also temperature controls to make the internal conditions comfortable, regardless of the external weather conditions.
The comfort factor is often taken for granted by occupants and is one of the most subjective conditions to monitor. It is by far the most common complaint, as well as the most difficult one to deal with. No matter how advanced our building technologies become, how often we meter and monitor, or how smart our systems become, there will always be complaints of: It’s too hot. It’s too cold.
With that said, facilities managers should note that regular maintenance to ensure proper climate control does not have to be an uphill battle. FacilitiesNet reveals that there are a number of tools that maintenance personnel can use to easily conduct routine inspections of heating and cooling systems, allowing them to then make necessary repairs and replacements.
Using gadgets for painless temperature tracking and troubleshooting
One of the first things that facilities managers must do to evaluate the performance of the temperature managing systems is to take climate readings throughout their facilities. By installing temperature and humidity data loggers, FacilitiesNet explains that maintenance staff can regularly take measurements from assorted areas of their buildings. All of the data generated by these inexpensive devices can then be downloaded and used to identify issues. A variation of the temperature and humidity data logger is the surface temperature data logger which can be used to capture readings on surfaces such as floors and ceilings. A laser temperature gun is a handheld device which is also used to measure surface temperatures. Handheld temperature and humidity/carbon dioxide sensors are useful in obtaining spot measurements when more than just temperature information is needed. Thermographic cameras can be used to locate thermal leaks and are often used in commissioning and energy audits.
These diagnostic tools will help facilities managers and maintenance staff to identify problems and implement solutions. Using a CMMS system such as FacilityDudes’s MaintenanceEdge to create work orders for tracking the issues and corresponding resolutions will help to build a knowledgebase of information to reference as future issues arise. Developing a comprehensive Preventive Maintenance plan will allow facilities managers to more efficiently and cost effectively maintain their facilities heating and cooling systems, thereby providing the occupants with a more comfortable environment. While there will always be hot and cold calls, having the diagnostic tools available to identify problems as well as a system in place to record all of the information and associated work history, can help facilities managers stay a couple of steps ahead in the game.