Deferred maintenance is not cost saving
Delaying scheduled maintenance to save costs, costs more in the long term
New schools are exciting they hold the promise of new ways of learning, new technologies and new equipment. There is reassurance in re-opening to a school that is clean, bright and healthy, and comfort in knowing that air is filtered and water is safe to drink. It is a statement of a school’s priorities, to provide a healthy and safe place in which to learn, whatever is happening in the outside world, and it requires planning to achieve.
What is deferred maintenance?
Delaying regular planned maintenance of buildings and machinery due to perceived budgetary constraints is deferring maintenance. During periods of economic stress we are all called upon to reduce costs. For schools facing funding cuts and enrolment reductions, facility maintenance costs may appear as low hanging fruit. If the chillers are working, why spend money on them? If the roof is not leaking, let’s delay that scheduled replacement we had budgeted?
The impact of deferring maintenance
According to the Building Owners and Managers Association, every $1 saved in deferred maintenance results in $4 of additional capital expenditure later. “Not doing preventive maintenance on systems shortens the life-cycle by as much as 1/3” (BOMA, 2000)
The financial impact can be calculated, the cost to the wellbeing of students and staff is not so easy to quantify. Delayed maintenance to air conditioning machinery reduces efficiency, reducing the number of air changes, reducing air quality. Less frequent filter changes increases particulate matter in the school. The impact may be seen in increased sick days and reduced attention in class.
|Equipment||Estimated Useful Life
(without preventive maintenance)
|Energy Efficiency Degradation|
|Condensers (air cool)||20||20%||30%|
|DX cooling units||15||50%||20%|