Winters may not be extreme in Vacaville, but without winterization commercial facilities can still become uncomfortably cold, which may damage temperature-sensitive equipment. In this blog, All Weather shares the critical aspects of commercial building winterization that you should add to your building furnace inspection checklist.
Critical Aspects of Winterization
Regardless of climate or location, the following are critical aspects of winterization that shouldn’t be overlooked:
- Energy Savings — The spaces within a commercial space have vastly different heating requirements. Conference rooms, for example, are only used for short time periods, and don’t have the same heating requirements as a reception area or the office spaces adjacent to it. At the other end of the spectrum, a business that operates 24 hours a day will require consistent and continuous heating. A combination of dedicated programmable thermostats, proper insulation and best practices such as turning down the temperature when the room isn’t in use can result in energy savings.
- Occupant Comfort — HVAC systems are put into place to create comfortable indoor spaces that can be customized according to occupant requirements. As discussed above, maintaining comfort isn’t a simple task. Investing in an efficient heating system, adhering to scheduled maintenance and installing dedicated controls can all help ensure comfort.
- Disaster Prevention — Preventing equipment failure is essential to maintaining comfortable indoor spaces, and in some cases may also prevent loss of revenue. In addition to implementing a preventive inspection and maintenance routine, consider investing in redundancies like a secondary heating system.
Important Maintenance Tasks
Regular inspections, scheduled maintenance and timely repairs are key ingredients of building winterization. While these are typically done by licensed HVAC technicians, there are some maintenance tasks that you can do on your own:
- Change the Air Filters — Don’t underestimate the importance of changing air filters in home and commercial settings. Clean air filters help maintain good indoor air quality. Your heating system’s peak usage is during the winter, which means the air filter will get clogged faster. Inspect the air filters at least once a month and replace when clogged.
- Address Insulation Issues — The heating system won’t be as effective if the building isn’t properly insulated. An energy audit conducted by an auditor certified by the Building Performance Institute (BPI) can help locate and point out insulation problems.
- Observe Proper HVAC Shutdown Procedures — Shutting down your heating and cooling systems isn’t as simple as flipping a switch. As you transition from one season to another, make sure the shutdown procedures for these systems outlined by the manufacturer are followed to the letter.
- Test Your Redundancies — Be prepared for disruptions such as power outages and breakdowns by testing your backup generators and emergency lighting systems well in advance.
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