In the summer of 2018, a customer was facing a real problem – their resident satisfaction at two properties needed some work, and they were just about to hit the hot summer busy season – which can be notoriously difficult if residents experience air conditioning issues.

Fortunately, they were able to implement a preventative maintenance and HVAC asset management solution at one of their properties. At this property the customer wound up doing only 3% unplanned replacements out of 300+ units – and had a customer satisfaction score of 97%.

Unfortunately, they did not have time to implement this solution at another one of their recently acquired properties and wound up with 17% unplanned replacements on 700+ units and a 77% resident satisfaction score.

Finding Relevant HVAC Solutions

The search for a HVAC technology solution that is focused on energy efficiency and provides multifamily and commercial property owners with ease and insight into their HVAC property management needs, can be daunting.Property owners have several boxes to check: proactive maintenance, environmentally friendly solutions, always with an eye to the bottom line. HVAC is one of the largest consumers of energy in commercial and multi-family properties, accounting for up to 40% of a building’s energy consumption.

It may be hard to believe, but in totality, businesses are wasting over 60% of the energy they purchase every year. And the inefficiencies can build upon one another. HVAC systems are typically the largest consumers of energy in commercial and multi-family properties, accounting for up to 40% of a building’s energy consumption. There is also the matter of the state the HVAC system in play. Poorly installed or malfunctioning units can increase energy consumption by another 30%. Add to that another 18% energy increase from poorly optimized heating and cooling processes and it is possible to see up to 90% of energy costs directly related to HVAC.

Considering Energy Costs

HVAC is one of the largest consumers of energy in commercial and multi-family properties, accounting for up to 40% of a building’s energy consumption.

Not only is high energy use costly for business operations, but it has an impact on the environment through the carbon that HVAC systems emit. That is why technological innovation and a reputable contractor network for commercial and multi-family building HVAC investments is a crucial consideration for commercial building owners. Commercial and multi-family properties that ‘back burner’ system innovation at this critical time will find it increasingly difficult to compete and maintain their resident satisfaction ratings by staying ahead of the inevitable replacement and repairs.

Building owners must make time to consider what the future of big data and smart platforms looks like. In our world of data, implementing HVAC services like this are no longer a luxury; they are a necessity. In fact, commercial buildings can attain a savings of roughly 18% on whole-building energy consumption from installing smart technologies to optimize services.

Adopting Smart Technology

Partnering with the right service provider will have a dramatic effect on the ultimate success or failure of an HVAC rollout in several areas such as acquiring quality, cost-effective equipment, ensuring compliant and thorough installation, accessing knowledgeable and rapid repair personnel who can also maintain equipment on an ongoing basis.

Whether your company is looking to adopt HVAC smart technology for the first time or replacing an out-of-date solution, here are a few factors to consider that will help in making your choice when embarking on a HVAC contractor network.

Commercial buildings can attain a savings of roughly 18% on whole-building energy consumption from installing smart technologies

Look for an experienced professional

 It may be tempting to seek an HVAC professional based on the lowest bid received, but there are other considerations that must be taken into account. Look for a solution provider with industry experience and a history of demonstrated success in managing technology from roll-out to deployment. When you meet with potential partners, insist on viewing live solutions.

A network of contractors

Look for an HVAC professional that is connected in their local community. Other considerations include the size of their contract network and are those contractors well-vetted? Ensure that the network has a reputation for meeting deadlines and affirms that it can meet yours. Ask if there is one point of contact for the life of the job, too.  It’s an important detail to know who your point person is and with whom you will be contacting for the questions that will arise along the way.

Have an eye to the future

Ensure that the HVAC technology under consideration possesses the capability to handle large volumes of data and a large number of users at the same time. Ask some questions about the peak season and confirm the contractor has planned ahead and thought through a scenario of how to prioritize repairs during a heat wave, for example. What about considering predictive analytics? What benchmark performance measures do they have in place? Do they use state-of-the-art remote monitoring, giving them a 360-degree view of your entire property portfolio?

No hassle, no waiting

Although larger than the residential market, commercial demand gains will increase at a slower rate due to an expected slowdown in commercial construction activity. As 2021 is quickly approaching, the market changes can present both dynamic opportunities and challenges for technology platforms. What’s key here is availability of product and services. Ensure that the contractor has the resources to accomplish your objectives. Are they vendor neutral? Consider and compare the price of labor and equipment. Also, confirm that there are multiple channels of ordering paths for optimization. 

How to choose your solution

The installation and implementation of all of a building’s HVAC assets should consider how the condition analysis of each unit captured. Make certain there is a clear representation of how data is being collected from your contractors and that you understand your role in consuming and interpreting that data. Ask about the kind of alerts and sensors that will be used and how the data collected is then presented to you. The technology provider should be able to provide guidance into which building metrics should be measured and offer technology solution that gives property owners visibility into their entire asset portfolio, empower managers, and make precise decisions about HVAC condition and energy-efficiency.

Building owners must make time to consider what the future of big data and smart platforms looks like

The reason why most residents do not renew their leases is because of poor staff performance and assistance. Technology solutions are now considered mission-critical for property managers, owners, and investors who want to excel at HVAC service needs. If the HVAC is in disrepair for too long a period, tenants will move onto another property.

According to data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program, companies spend more than $20 billion on energy, annually. By replacing air conditioning equipment that has been in operation for 10 years, facilities can save 20-50% on energy and maintenance costs. Taking some steps toward technology via a contractor network can help ensure excellent staff performance and assistance, resulting in higher residential satisfactory ratings, tenant retention, as well as energy and cost savings.

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Author profile

Kirill Kniazev Marketing Director, Motili

Kirill Kniazev is the marketing director at Motili. Motili is a technology company which helps commercial, multifamily, and single-family property owners and operators with proactive and reactive HVAC and hot water maintenance.

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