Tips on Getting Your Building Ready for the Harsh Winter Season

It is that time of year again; the air is crisp, the days are shorter and the fear of winter is right around the corner. With the winter chill quickly approaching, building owners and managers should proactively service their building’s heating system before it’s too late. If employees are wearing their winter coats with the space heater under their desk on high, it is time to turn the heat on in your building. Below, are some tips from Bud Hammer, President of Atlantic Westchester, a commercial and industrial HVAC service business, on how building managers can get their facility ready for the upcoming winter season:

1) Maintain all HVAC systems
Make sure HVAC systems are professionally maintained on a regular basis. Clean, well operating systems will provide reliable, efficient service during the extreme weather days. Dirty or old, battered systems will breakdown more often and continually become less efficient with age and deferred maintenance, beside the added cost to repair and/or keep running.)

2) Benefits of a programmable thermostat
To consume energy intelligently, building owners should install a programmable thermostat or building management system to control temperature based on building occupancy. If there are no bodies in a building at night, or on the weekends, there is no need to run the heat at a high temperature. Building owners and managers should set their facilities temperature to approximately 60 degrees when a
building is unoccupied.

3) Eliminate space heater usage
During the cold months, employees may use a space heater under their desk; however, these small warmers tend to cause more harm than good. Not only are space heaters a fire hazard, but the heaters consume unnecessary energy and might continue to run while the building is empty.

4) Change filters/keep system clean
Filters, coils and fans should be routinely changed, checked and cleaned, particularly during the harshest months of the year. Having a clean system before the cold hits will ensure optimal air flow and will help your system run efficiently.

5) Seal your building’s ductwork for leaks
An HVAC system starts to degrade and efficiency decreases shortly after it’s installed which is why it’s so important to keep it serviced and maintained on a regular basis. Ductwork should be checked to make sure it’s not leaking air into attics, crawl spaces, walls or ceilings. Sealing ductwork and can improve efficiency by ensuring the heat gets to where it’s needed most.

6) Insulate ducts and pipes
HVAC comfort systems are designed to keep occupants comfortable. Insulation is designed to help accomplish that task in an efficient manner so heat isn’t wasted before it gets to the occupants. Maintaining a good amount of insulation on pipes and ducts or improving its insulating value can save energy and money over time to make it a worthwhile investment idea plus save work for your HVAC system.