Your Facility’s Winter Preparation Checklist

clipboardNew York’s winter season can mean significant increases in performance load on your building’s HVAC system. Not only will your system work harder through many of the colder months, but it is also more likely to fall prey to maintenance issues that could be serious.

Luckily, you can take steps to improve efficiency and protect your property from problems:

Conduct a Complete HVAC System Inspection

Seasonal inspections are a pivotal part of ensuring your HVAC system is ready for changing weather. Since heating is such a significant part of overall energy use for any large commercial structure, basic repairs and thermostat optimization are essential. Every element of the system should be reviewed. Any discovered issues should be triaged for resolution as soon as possible.

Eliminate Waste Heat

No matter the size of your structure, issues with the outer envelope can lead to significant heat loss. For larger properties, of course, even a small problem will be magnified. Drafts, cracks, and leaks should be prioritized for repair. Check exterior walls for signs of frost that can indicate faulty insulation. Make sure the seals on doors and windows are sound.

Check Gas Lines

For buildings using gas, gas lines should be checked along their entire length for any signs of corrosion. In many cases, a temporary loss of gas power means there’s no way to heat your building until it’s restored. Consider installing corrosion-resistant piping in the future. If you use alternative power sources such as backup generators, test them to be sure they’re functional.

Inspect the Roof

Flat roofs are at the highest risk of damage in the winter. Check them for any areas where snow and ice might build up, increasing the odds of collapse. Throughout the winter, be sure to inspect and clear the roof at least once a week. Regular snow removal should be scheduled and performed after any heavy snowfall. If large amounts of snow are allowed to sit, leaks can result.

Get Ready for Snow Removal

Snow removal plans need to encompass the entire property, not just the roof. Particularly, it’s important to ensure entrances and exits will be clear at all times – these are major liability sources. Review safety procedures with employees or contractors who will handle the removal so you know everything will be done according to the highest standards.

There are dozens of steps you can take to make sure your building stays warm and safe in the winter. When it comes to your overall heating bill and energy efficiency, however, your HVAC system takes priority. A preventive maintenance contract with a recognized team of HVAC system experts can save you millions in the long run. Contact Donnelly Mechanical to learn more.

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