Is there really any maintenance required on a BAS?
Too often owners of a BAS do not realize what real maintenance is required on a BAS. Their thought is of technicians cleaning circuits boards and sweeping out the dust in control panels, but that kind of cleaning isn’t even necessary. What is necessary is to understand that a BAS controls a whole network of sensors and devices which actually change calibration and position on a regular basis. Dampers, valves and other end devices need to be checked to confirm they are operating through their control range. Sensors need to have their calibration and sensing accuracy checked. And programs need to be adjusted to adapt to an ever-changing set of operating conditions so that the system produces its best performance in terms of energy, environment, and social aspects of its operation.
What type of maintenance plan is best for me?
There are choices between simple labor maintenance and parts and labor maintenance contracts. In most cases we recommend a simple labor only maintenance contract. The reason is simple. Generally control systems parts do not fail at a very high rate however an all-inclusive contract needs to allow for the possibility of the most expensive components failing during the course of a contract. If they don’t fail you lose that investment. If they do then you may come out ahead without having to budget the unexpected costs. Contractors do not price contracts to lose money so more often than not the “house wins”. The least expensive option is to buy the labor only contract and pay for any parts that fail. If you organization cannot accept the possibility on an unexpected and unbudgeted cost them then the full coverage contract is the best option.
What size contract is best for me?
Allow us to make that recommendation based on our experience with systems we already maintain. You can purchase as many or as few hours as you like within reason. We will propose a reasonable contract that includes a fixed number of hours of maintenance that we feel will allow us to keep your system maintained. You are free to choose to purchase more or less however if you choose to purchase too few hours and we feel that we cannot adequately provide positive results with that contract we can choose to not offer that contract. A contract that we feel sets us up to fail would not be in our mutual best interest.
Why should I buy a contract and not just call when my mechanical service contractor tells me I need a repair?
When customers choose to do this they are making a very poor choice. First, the mechanical service provider generally know little or nothing about control systems in general or your control system in particular despite the fact that many claim to install control systems as well. The fact is they do not make the investment necessary in people, equipment, and training necessary to properly install or maintain a control system. Second, because our maintenance contracts allow us to plan our schedules for our technicians, we can retain an adequate staff to both maintain and service the systems we have under contract. We may not have the people available when your needs arise and we will always give preference to our contract customers whenever unplanned service is required.
My mechanical service contractor tells me that they include the control maintenance as a part of their standard service agreement so do I really need any additional maintenance services?
We hear this a lot so we would like for you to ask them one simple question. How much of a price reduction will I get if I choose to not have you do the control system maintenance? Take this amount, if it is not zero, and divide it by their hourly service rate for a competent controls technician (not a filter changer) and you will know how many hours of real maintenance that you will get from them. It is most likely zero. Our contracts are a win-win arrangement. You will get every hour we include in our contracts.
If you have any questions not answered in this FAQ, please feel free to contact us directly.