Mechanical Insights

Is Preventative Maintenance Worth the Investment?

Sep 21, 2020 8:30:00 AM / by Tate Engineering

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Operating on a budget isn’t always easy. You have to be very careful about where you spend your money to ensure that you can keep the doors open and turn a profit. When it comes to preventative maintenance, it’s all too easy to save it for later when machinery seems to be functioning properly. However, saving time and money by neglecting regular maintenance could mean losing a lot more down the road.

By running your equipment until you experience a failure, you could end up spending 3-10 times more than you would have by simply engaging in regularly scheduled maintenance involving cleaning, inspection, and repair. In addition to tangible expenses, you’ll also face downtime, which could impact productivity.

In the meantime, your equipment will likely suffer waning efficiency as well. Your costs for utilities could increase, productivity and profit could decrease, and your expenses could end up being a lot more severe once you factor in losses.

Is preventative maintenance really worth the investment? Let’s take a look at what you stand to lose when you try to save a few bucks by skipping equipment maintenance.


If you’re behaving responsibly when it comes to major equipment purchases, you take the time to weigh initial costs against the expected life cycle of machinery, as well as its anticipated performance. For example, you may find it worthwhile to spend a little more on energy-efficient equipment that will save you on utility costs over the life of the product, eventually offsetting a higher purchase price.

When you understand the value of efficiency, you realize that waning efficiency can lead to issues like higher operating costs, potential losses from downtime if parts fail, and even a life cycle that is shorter than anticipated, which truncates your facility and equipment value. Proper maintenance, while not without expense, is generally going to be far less costly than losses related to limited efficiency, equipment failure, and the expenses associated with downtime and major repairs or replacement.


When equipment isn’t operating at its peak, it could start to impact performance and productivity, ultimately decreasing profit. Consider HVAC systems, for example. Suppose you’ve deferred maintenance to the point that your air conditioning isn’t functioning properly or has outright failed, leaving workers toiling in miserably hot conditions.

At best, you’re going to experience a reduction in productivity as a result. At worst, you may be forced to send your workforce home while you repair or replace equipment. What if the same scenario hits other critical systems, such as manufacturing? Keeping your equipment clean and in good condition will ensure that it performs at peak efficiency, paving the way for your workers and overall operations to do the same.

Monetary Savings

Will preventative maintenance cost you some time and money? Yes. Will it save you in the long run? It will. When you put off essential equipment maintenance thinking you’ll save time and money, what really ends up happening is buildup of dirt and grime that can foul machinery, wear and tear on parts that goes unnoticed, and untended damage that worsens over time, to the point where you find yourself in an emergency situation that could otherwise have been avoided.

With proper preventative maintenance on a regular schedule, you have the opportunity to keep equipment clean and catch small problems early, so you can make minor repairs before major catastrophes occur. This can help you to avoid costly downtime and spare the expense of replacement (as opposed to repair). Planned maintenance may require limited downtime and expense, but you can schedule it on a timeline that won’t disrupt productivity and save yourself unplanned downtime, massive expenditures, and a heap of stress in the process. For help with preventative maintenance, consult the experts at Tate Engineering. Let us know what we can do for you!

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Tags: Insider, Maintenance

Written by Tate Engineering