HVAC Maintenance Tips to Safeguard Your Mission-Critical System
Winter is upon us, and proper HVAC maintenance becomes paramount as the temperature drops. As facility managers and building owners, you must ensure that your HVAC systems are in top-notch condition to provide occupants with a warm, comfortable, and safe environment during the cold, winter months.
In this guide, we will share essential HVAC maintenance tips to help you safeguard your mission-critical system this winter.
1. Prioritize Clean Ducts and Filter Changes
A crucial step is to maintain clean ducts and regularly change HVAC filters. Beyond improving air quality, this step is vital at a time when efficient filters are recommended to reduce the spread of airborne viruses.
Since efficient filters may clog faster, be diligent about replacing them before winter sets in. Consider going the extra mile by cleaning the ducts to eliminate dust, debris, and mold spores. A UV sanitizer can enhance air quality by eradicating airborne viral particles.
2. Balance Energy Efficiency with Ventilation
While energy efficiency is a common focus during winter, you must also maintain proper ventilation. Adjusting the HVAC system or opening windows to increase fresh air from outside is essential, as it helps dilute the concentration of viral particles indoors. While this may lead to higher energy bills, the payoff regarding employee and guest health and safety is well worth it.
3. Monitor Humidity Levels
Cold air is often dry, and maintaining the right humidity levels is crucial for occupant comfort and equipment performance. Monitor your humidity levels or use humidifiers to prevent overly dry conditions, as this can help prevent issues like static electricity and discomfort.
4. Prepare Cooling Systems for Winter
For facilities with cooling systems that won’t be used during winter, it’s vital to ensure they are properly cleaned, drained, and maintained. This is especially important for systems shut off entirely, as they are more susceptible to damage from freezing temperatures. These precautions will help protect your investment and ensure your cooling systems are ready for action when the weather warms up again.
5. Protect Unheated Spaces and Plumbing
Even seemingly insignificant unheated spaces within your facility can pose a risk to your plumbing. Pipes running through unheated areas are susceptible to freezing and bursting, potentially leading to costly repairs. To mitigate this risk, consider shutting off the water supply and draining pipes in unheated rooms. If this isn’t possible, insulate the pipes and take steps to keep the rooms above freezing temperatures.
6. Maintain HVAC Systems Continuously
Maintaining your HVAC systems in top-notch condition is a continuous effort. Regular inspections throughout the year are essential to ensure they operate efficiently and are prepared to handle the increased workload during winter.
7. Don’t Overlook Power Generators
Power disruptions are common during winter storms. To ensure uninterrupted electricity supply during such events, perform regular and preventative maintenance on your power generators. Additionally, consider investing in backup fuel reserves to extend the generator’s runtime in case of extended outages.
8. Ensure Proper Functioning of Your Energy Management System
An efficient energy management system reduces energy consumption and maintains a comfortable indoor environment. Regularly check and optimize this system to ensure it operates at its best.
9. Act Quickly on Repairs
Minor issues can quickly escalate into significant problems, especially during winter. During your fall maintenance checkup, be vigilant for warning signs like strange noises, odors, poor air quality, inconsistent temperatures, or rising heating costs. Address these issues promptly to prevent them from becoming significant challenges.
10. Optimize Your Facility’s Operating Schedule
Balancing and setting your building’s temperatures is essential to save energy. Adjust control schedules to reflect changes in occupancy and daylight savings time. You can save energy by reducing heat in unused parts of the building. However, ensure that some heat is maintained in those unoccupied areas and adjust the setpoints accordingly.
Choose Limbach for Winter Energy Efficiency Solutions
Winter can be challenging, but with Limbach by your side, you can face it head-on. As a trusted leader in mission-critical systems, Limbach is committed to providing the expertise and knowledge you need to ensure a smooth winter season. Contact us today to get your facilities winter-ready!