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Preventative Maintenance and Your Facility

Preventative Maintenance and Your Facility

Preventive maintenance (PM), what is it and why is it vital for churches to invest into this type of program? Learning the basics can save your church significant energy costs.

Preventive maintenance is key. According to a number of sources we can save 18% of our energy costs (some sources range savings from 5-40% savings)by employing some basic practices.

We have seen through the years that preventive maintenance can make a large impact  There is a common misconception regarding the way we run our facilities.  The energy efficiency related items: Building Envelope, HVAC, Lighting, Plug Load and more should maintain themselves.  However, like with automobiles, if we do not invest in proper care and maintenance not only does it affect the life of our car, but also the efficiency.  The purpose of this article is to briefly educate, you—the reader, of the importance of a PM program. 

First lets take a look at a few definitions.

Deferred maintenance has been going on for years.  Historically churches do not invest in planned maintenance, but rather emergency maintenance.  If something breaks we fix it and it is simple as that.  But, to put on my preachers hat for a second, we are called to be stewards of God's creation.  We are to manage His creation to the best of our abilities, given the resources we have.  And I certainly understand that sometimes we do not have the time, administrative support or resources to carry out our tasks effectively.  The purpose of this article is not just for facility managers, but also for church administration.

  1. Emergency Repair Maintenance
  2. Putting out fires/emergencies
  3. Deferred Maintenance
  4.   Doing work we should have done 5 years ago
  5. Planned Maintenance
  6.   Put in budget every year to replace and invest in maintenance.
  7. Preventive Maintenance
  8. What you do when you have spare time, to make things operate more effectively and efficiently
  9. Programmed or Long-Term PM
  10. 5 Year Program

We cannot teach or educate the end-user how to perform preventive maintenance in a short article.  But we can show you why it is importance and direct you to places to learn more.

Preventive Maintenance (PM): What it is
According to The Facilities Manager's Reference by Harvey H. Kaiser, Ph.D., preventive maintenance is "a planned and controlled program of periodic inspection, adjustment, lubrication, and replacement of components, as well as performance testing and analysis."
PM activities are performed at regular intervals, such as biweekly, monthly, semiannually, and every five years.
There is a Life Safety factor, for example- Cleaning ductwork, replacing filters and monitoring air to ensure healthy indoor environment. But we can also Achieve and sustain energy savings, Extended life of building and grounds, identifies code compliance, identifies problems that would previously go unnoticed and more..

Here are two case studies:

State of California analysis of nine (9) Community Colleges: Trained Maintenance Department on preventive maintenance programming and implementation; improved efficiency of HVAC operations and reduced utility bills by 6-19 percent.
Manufacturing Association in Michigan analysis of ten (10) dissimilar manufacturing processes:  Training and implementation of preventive maintenance decreased maintenance hours by 33 percent over the five (5) year period of the analysis.

Preventive maintenance is very deep, numerous books are written on the topic. We briefly identified why PM is important, in my next article we will break down strategies and give specific "in the field" examples we have seen throughout the years. 

At the end of the day we desire to see an empowered church in all areas of energy management.  We desire to see churches doing all they can in the area of sustainability given the resources at our disposal. 

However our goal is not only to empower sustainability and the bottom line, but also to free up resources that could go to empowering missions, discipleship and more.  God has given us the call, as He did with Adam, to guard the garden.  But this call is not to simply protect, but rather to be creative, to think outside the box, to manage. 




TAGS: Energy Gear
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