Consider what an HVAC system costs to operate. Studies have shown that investment and maintenance count for about 18.5 percent of the cost to operate an HVAC system, while energy accounts for about 81 percent of the annual cost. Energy, therefore, provides the biggest opportunity for cost savings.
Smart facility owners will want their facility managers concentrating their money-saving efforts on the area of greatest opportunity. They may be surprised to learn that the area of greatest opportunity is not the initial filter price, but the related energy costs. That’s why it’s important to focus on cost-savings instead of price-savings.
Cost savings relate to costs as a whole, and include the larger energy costs as well as reduced labor costs possible when upgrading to a higher capacity filter that doesn’t need to be changed as frequently. Price savings refers to the relatively small amount of savings that can be achieved by negotiating with suppliers on the purchase price.
It’s important for everyone involved in facility management and maintenance to understand the nuances of air filtration costs. In many cases, one department (and budget) may be responsible for purchasing air filters and filter service contracts while another is responsible for energy expenditures.
The problem inherent in this system is that the filter purchaser can easily and innocently make a costly decision for the enterprise by choosing to purchase filters without considering their energy consumption implications, or worse, their impact on air quality and tenant satisfaction.