December 6, 2016

frozen air conditioning unit covered in snowEvery year, New Yorkers face the challenge of a long and harsh winter season.

While some winters are better than others, it’s always best to be prepared. This is especially true for large commercial structures: The winter season can produce unexpected challenges for both climate control and energy efficiency.

Luckily, today’s facilities leaders are more prepared than ever to recognize and resolve seasonal issues.

Since a HVAC system is such an integral part of how a building performs for its tenants, it’s important to take a holistic view. Every component and every interrelated building system can have an impact on internal climate and costs.

When ramping up for winter, keep these factors in mind:

Leaks Can Cause Serious Issues in Winter

Unresolved leaks are bad news even in the best of times, but they can cause even bigger problems in winter. When cooling towers and other components leak, changes in temperature can cause pipes to flex and warp. In extreme situations, leaks can freeze over and present safety hazards, including dangerous slip and fall conditions. To maximize safety, review all water systems for leaks before the snowy season kicks into high gear.

Pipes Can Freeze Even When No Leaks are Present

Every year, people all across the country find themselves facing flooded basements and other problems because of a simple, but serious problem: Frozen pipes. A commercial HVAC system is much more resilient than any residential one, but it’s still important to take precautions and prevent freezing. Protecting your HVAC unit from ice means keeping external components clear of snow and as clean as possible. When the weather gets rough, plan daily visual inspections.

Snow Can Compromise Your Roof’s Integrity

Naturally, even the best commercial HVAC can’t function if there are serious issues with the building’s envelope. Even something as simple as warped windows can have an effect. The biggest risk, however, comes from overnight snow. When snow settles on the roof, it can quickly create leaks and may even cause a partial roof collapse. To keep the facilities team from underestimating the amount of snow, it should be cleared every morning without fail.

When all is said and done, winter is the time of year when the weather is most likely to wreak unexpected havoc on even a modern HVAC system. Although there are many steps you can take to ensure sound performance, the most important is this: Work with trusted HVAC system experts to get regular preventive maintenance.

In the snow, rain, and sunshine, Donnelly Mechanical is New York City’s top brand for commercial HVAC system optimization. That includes excellent performance and industry-leading energy efficiency in all weather conditions.

To learn about our winter special, contact us today.

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