Deferred maintenance on rooftop package units is among the top mistakes one can make as a facility manager. It opens the door to wide-ranging risk and costs thousands more than preventative maintenance, but its biggest impacts can stretch even further. In fact, take a look at some of the top impacts of deferred maintenance on rooftop package units.
1. Deferred Maintenance on Rooftop Package Units May Lead to Chiller Failure
Deferred maintenance on rooftop package units can lead to the total failure of chillers and condensing units. Dirty coils and the effects of the elements may result in the corrosion of materials and eventual chiller failure. This results in increased energy draw for powering the rooftop package unit, but the cooling tonnage capacity also decreases simultaneously. In other words, the unit begins using more electricity and does not cool as effectively. Thus, overall energy use increases and the compressor may begin to fail, explains Randy Simmons via LinkedIn.
2. Second-Level Chiller Failure May Result in Multi-Day Downtime
A failed compressor is referred to as second-level chiller failure. Unfortunately, compressor failure is not a simple, one-hour fix. Replacing the compressor for a rooftop package unit may result in complete system downtime for up to two days. Accounting for changes in building size and time spent bringing the new system online and configuring it properly, lost production value can easily amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
3. Deferred Maintenance Dramatically Increases Repair Costs
Deferred maintenance of rooftop package units also increases the repair cost. Even if the system does not fail entirely, compounding repairs and permanent damage may lead to a reduced equipment life expectancy. Furthermore, extended delays as part of deferred maintenance can have up to a 30-percent degradation in energy efficiency and life expectancy, but preventative maintenance on rooftop package units can have a savings of between $50 and $100 per ton cooling capacity annually, reducing total cost ownership of facilities management spend.
4. It Creates a Fire and Safety Hazard
The potential costs from deferred maintenance on a rooftop package unit include more than just the cost of repair or replacement. If the unit overheats, it could ignite debris and material caught in air intakes. Electrical wiring could begin to smolder and burn, and a fire could quickly spread over the roof and destroy your facility. Moreover, deferred maintenance could lead to the pooling of condensation near the unit, weakening the strength of the roof. If not addressed, the unit could fall through the roof, causing damage or injuring occupants. This is in addition to the potential distribution of toxic gases and exhaust throughout your facility due to unobstructed air intake or other problems.
Reduce the Risk and Costs Associated with Deferred Maintenance on Rooftop Package Units
Rooftop package units can easily be among the most expensive equipment operating in your facility. Rather than leaving harshness of the elements and putting off maintenance, preventative maintenance can reduce the risk and costs associated with deferred maintenance. Although rooftop package units may be difficult to access and perform maintenance on, their location is not an excuse for justifying deferred maintenance. Preventative maintenance also improves safety and lowers total cost ownership.