Why Facility Managers Should Invest in HVAC Engineers and Technicians

In an effort to lower operational expenses and create environmentally friendly systems, more and more facility managers are investing in smart building technology’s potential.  Such an investment strategy will likely pay off since HVAC systems account for approximately 40 percent of a facility’s primary energy consumption.

Potential Impact

Wasted energy can cost between $1,000 and $3,700 per HVAC unit if your facility’s inventory (commercial air conditioners, heat pumps, and warm-air furnaces, etc.) includes units that are over 10 years old or use R22 refrigerant. So 20-30% efficiency gains are quite possible by retrofitting or replacing older, degraded equipment and investing in smart building technology.

Potential Missed Opportunity

Yes, it’s becoming quite clear innovations in HVAC systems, sensors and controls open up the potential for massive efficiency gains. However, the biggest gains may be driven by the proper design, operation and uptime of HVAC systems. In other words, investing in smart technology only and overlooking the hiring of smart talent is a big missed opportunity.

How to Find Qualified Talent

  1. Search for Qualified HVAC Engineers and Technicians – When searching for qualified talent, don’t settle for the “learn on the job” applicants or even the first qualified applicant. To maximize your future team’s value, find creative ways to source and assess the local talent pool. One method is to build on your professional network by actively participating in your local ASHRAE chapter.
  2. Identify Likeable HVAC Engineers and Technicians – Being able to cope with and relate to others (emotional and social intelligence) is becoming a sought after skill in every industry. For HVAC engineers and technicians to succeed, they should be likable and be strong in these fundamental skills: problem solving, attention to detail and communication.
  3. Hire Specialized HVAC Engineers and Technicians – Whether it’s Direct Digital Control (DDC) systems, 3D Engineering Simulation Software, or Predictive Maintenance Models, engineers and technicians applicants should specialize in the technology or software you currently have or plan to purchase. For example, in the coming years your facility’s preventive maintenance (PM) will evolve into a predictive maintenance (PdM) plan where sensors and analytics determine schedules and prescribe solutions. Ideally, hire talent that has all the skills above, but with a specialty in PdM.

As more and more investments are being made in smart building technology, facility managers need to keep focused on who can best extract the value from these innovations. New technologies and energy efficiency are key topics in the coming years, but it’s the engineers and technicians who will maximize savings.

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