This year the Old Farmer’s Almanac is predicting colder temperatures and greater snow fall compared to the last couple of years here in Minnesota. Is your commercial HVAC system in shape?
If you are a lover of winter sports and ice fishing, this news may not be so bad. But when it comes to business owners, this means considering a check-up of your heating and cooling system.
As energy prices rise, you also want to see to it that your equipment is not costing you more than it should.
Heating System Check
Of course this is top priority in preparing for a cold winter. A good idea is to create a plan for your maintenance people, or whoever you’ve placed in charge…including yourself in some cases. Tasks that need to be addressed can be daily, weekly, monthly and yearly. Have this plan in the form of a check list, with a place to add the date the check-up occurred and by whom. This is also a good way to meet warranty specifications on equipment.
Depending on the size and type of your heating equipment, here are some topics for your list:
- Look for cracks in the heat exchangers
- Check the safeties for proper operation
- Are the flames burning clean and efficiently
- Check the flues for carbon buildup
- Are water pressure gauges calibrated correctly
- Remove and clean burners
- Inspect expansion tanks for proper air cushions and to be sure they are not flooded.
- Brush boiler tubes
Cracked heat exchangers are especially of concern as they can leak dangerous carbon dioxide into a building.
Thermostat Calibration and Reduced Settings
This of itself will help your heating system to operate more efficiently, saving your business money.
*Did you know? – Studies show that for every degree you drop your thermostat setting, you accrue a savings of 1% over the course of the winter.
Of course you don’t want to get your employees complaining about the cold either, but lowering the temperature by just a few degrees may not make a difference in comfort, but it will in savings.
Change the Air Filters!
As usual, this is of utmost importance, and we can never emphasize enough the need to keep all heating and cooling filters clean and replaced. Why? Plain and simple…a dirty filter increases a system’s energy use and shortens the life span of the equipment.
*Did you Know? – Keeping high quality clean floor mats, both inside and outside of the building entry doors, will cut down 80% of the dirt found inside the building.
Think of the dust and particles eliminated from clogging up those filters!
More Items for Your Winter Check List
Leaky doors and windows can allow precious heated air to escape, or cold air to seep in. Insects and pests will also take advantage of leaks to find a cozy winter home. Caulking and weather stripping is great to fill these gaps. (Another money saver as well).
This is a good time to clear roof gutters and drains, especially after the leaves have fallen. Otherwise a buildup of water can freeze, doing damage to roof tops, trim, siding and drain pipes. Keeping the debris free also allows for melting snow and ice to flow.
Along with gutters, a roof and attic inspection is important. Leaks can come from loose tiles and shingles. How is the area surrounding any chimneys or vents? Deicers can be added to melt accumulating snow and ice on the roof, preventing damage.
Although some of these things are not related to HVAC equipment, they can be added to your pre-winter regime, such as repairing sidewalks and paved areas to avoid further erosion from the winter elements.
While you’re at it, inspect the outside faucets and irrigation systems. This includes drain hoses, preventing them from freezing and causing water to back up into your equipment.
Equipment Old and Worn?
If your furnace is more than 10 years old, you may want to consider replacing it, and this would be a good time rather than have it fail during the mid-winter months. You don’t want to be ‘out of business’ for days while replacing your system. With today’s high efficiency ratings, you could save as much as 40% or more on utility bills. See our Blog
As a building or business owner, you can make the decision to have your maintenance team do some or all of these tasks, or you can call us. Cold weather brings with it a number of challenges when it comes to your heating and cooling equipment, and overall building preparedness.
No matter what Mother Nature has in store for us in Minnesota this coming winter, we at Abel Heating and Cooling are happy to work with you and your people in getting ready. We advise that you not wait for when the ice and storms are upon us. A system breakdown on a frigid day can cost you in down time.
At Abel we have technicians with the expertise to answer your questions and give you the best evaluations.
Give us a call at 952-472-COOL (2665) or Contact Us