HVAC operations and maintenance (“O&M”) are the practices that keep mechanical systems working at peak performance during the life of the building. As a designer, your choices can make it easy or hard to maintain your thermal comfort systems.
HVAC design is only as good as its execution. Neglect, poorly-chosen replacements, and misunderstanding of systems can undo all the improvements of good HVAC design. Top-quality operations and maintenance practices such as continuous commissioning can improve energy performance 20% and improve occupant comfort at the same time.
Good HVAC O&M is measured by system performance. The system should continue providing thermal comfort at the energy use specified in the HVAC design for the building. Commissioning agents usually perform these audits. As technology improves, the performance may even be improved to exceed design specs.