In many regions across North America, HVAC systems run continuously all year round – to keep us cool in the summer and to warm us up during the winter months. They’ve become such a commodity that many people can’t envision their lives without one. This extensive use puts a strain on these units, increasing their risk of downtime or failure. To lengthen a HVAC unit’s lifespan, you want to perform regular maintenance to catch problems before they start.
Global warming and HVAC maintenance
As global warming continues to persist, more and more households and office buildings require HVAC systems to cool down their spaces. And the reality is, the warmer the climate gets, the more society depends on them. Nevertheless, widespread adoption of air conditioners will certainly impact our environment, economy, and even health over time. Not only do air conditioners consume energy, but many of them use toxic refrigerants that can intensify these risks, should there ever be a leak. Additionally, germs and other bacteria can live in them, leading to colds, allergies, and other breathing problems.
The above factors combined make HVAC maintenance a real necessity. Thankfully, a lot of maintenance contracts for air conditioners include annual service. This preventive maintenance includes verifying air pressure, inspecting ducts, and double checking the condition of the filters.
The HVACR industry is heavily regulated
The HVACR industry has more recently invested in the development of new refrigerants and essentially phase out the use of HFCs (harsh chemicals), that aren’t as harmful to the environment. As a result, technicians need to follow strict protocols and keep a log of the work that was performed to stay compliant.
Due to potential environmental and health hazards, air conditioner installation and maintenance jobs must be performed according to certain rules and industry standards. For example, to comply with contractual and regulatory requirements, HVAC specialists must use a Field Service Management software platform that runs on the latest generation available.
Going digital is essential to track data on the handling of contaminants
Field Service Management software like Praxedo allows them to create work orders and input all the data collected during each customer visit. Completing this type of document without software is slow and tedious. Technicians might need to identify the nature of the service, the kind of fluid involved, the quantities added and removed, and the frequency of monitoring activities. Paper-based processes that are completed manually can include errors, particularly in the calculations and conversions for the quantities of fluids added and removed.
With Praxedo, they can even attach photos, documentation and get customer signatures with their mobile phones. The information captured is automatically synched in real-time and instantly accessible to dispatchers and managers. Data history will always be traceable and available, so that each technician is aware of the previous work that was done on a particular piece of equipment.
And, they can do all of this without an internet connection because data can be synched later – the instant a connection is made.
Electronic signatures provide proof of service
Digitizing work orders saves time and ensures the accuracy of the data entered. Technicians use their mobile application to access forms that include pre-filled fields and fields with drop-down menus. Work order reports are then electronically signed by the customer and the technician and automatically sent in PDF format by email.
This document serves as proof in the event of a dispute. It’s digital so it’s easy for the HVAC specialist and the customer to store it long-term without it getting lost or misplaced.
Field service providers can also offer their customers an overall view of their operations and access to detailed reports of the preventive service activities carried out on each type of equipment. This allows customers to see which parts are maintained regularly and which equipment is most vulnerable to failures.
HVAC specialists have a bright future ahead of them
Today, more and more owners of HVAC systems are discovering the benefits of performing regular equipment maintenance. They know how expensive emergency repairs can be, hence another reason to schedule recurring maintenance checks as a preventative measure.
HVAC technicians are using Field Service Management software to simplify the way they manage and conduct their maintenance calls. Mobile apps are now making it easier than ever to manage recurrent work orders and optimize routes.