Running a business or even maintaining an office can be a costly proposition. The average office building will spend roughly 19 percent of their total expenditures on energy alone — and between 54 and 71 percent of that just on lighting, heating and cooling.
You can help to reduce these costs by regularly maintaining your equipment. What effect does maintaining equipment have on your energy costs, and how can you set up a regular maintenance schedule to keep your equipment more efficient?
Start With an Analysis
The best way to figure out where your problem areas are is to have a professional energy usage analysis conducted in your office. These analyses measure everything from your energy usage to your water consumption and then provide you with a list of potential solutions. They can also help you make sense of the energy data your building is already producing. With that insight, you can build a plan of action to reduce costs and improve office efficiency.
Upgrade Wherever Possible
It might seem like the most cost-effective plan to take advantage of existing supplies, infrastructure and equipment, but it could actually be costing you money, productivity and time. Slow or outdated computers make it harder for employees to do their job and can even create a security risk if they’re still equipped with older versions of the operating system. When upgrading, it’s important to do your research. You want to make sure that companies didn’t cut corners in the electronics manufacturing process or you could end up with corrupted files or worst-case scenario, complete data loss.
Don’t let your employees DIY your maintenance or repairs — no matter how handy they are. By employing professionals, you’ve assured the best service possible and may even be eligible for a warranty on those repairs. This route also keeps your employees on task and doesn’t take them away from the job at hand just to repair a faulty piece of equipment.
Setting Up a Maintenance Schedule
How can you set up a maintenance schedule for your equipment, especially if it’s being used the majority of the time? Try to schedule your maintenance for off hours or even outside of normal business hours. his plan might mean that you have to come into work early or stay late to let your repairman in or out, but it keeps the maintenance schedule from interfering with work.
For equipment like your HVAC system, try to schedule your biannual maintenance during the seasons when temperate weather means you’re not using the system as much. Do your air conditioner maintenance in the spring, before temperatures start to climb, and your heating maintenance in the fall, before they start to drop again.
Take the time to regularly inspect your equipment for signs of wear and tear or potential damage. This strategy could allow you to catch a small problem before it has the chance to become a big one. Big problems tend to take equipment totally offline, which can interfere with your workday and ability to do your job.
Repair all broken down equipment promptly. We get it — sometimes things break down. But they don’t have to be ignored or shoved into a corner until you get around to it. Take the time to fix equipment quickly and get your workday back on track.
Finally, make sure all of your employees are aware of your maintenance schedule. That way, you don’t have anyone who’s in the middle of a big project when their equipment is being shut down for maintenance. Being prepared for these intermittent shutdowns can make everything in the office run a lot smoother.
Gain Efficiency in Your Work
Efficiency is key in any office environment, whether you’re building components or working on them. Keeping your equipment properly maintained will help to make sure your office works as smoothly as possible, allowing you to breathe a little easier. As the old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” In this case, your regular maintenance is your prevention.