Winter brings seasonal favorites like warm fires, hot cocoa, and handsome snowmen.
It also increases the chances of frozen pipes, loss of power, and unplanned loss of heat.
Whether you maintain a mission-critical data center housing secure data or are heating an indoor sports field to help the local soccer team play year-round, extreme cold can wreak havoc on your HVAC system and your building...but it doesn't have to!
Taking the proper steps to prepare for winter can save you precious time and tons of out of pocket expenses for when the unexpected happens.
So, what are the steps?
1. Prepare for the worst with a contingency plan:
Having a backup plan in the extreme heat and cold can:
Save time (at least 2-4 days when equipment fails)
Save money (incidents will easily cost 3 times as much without a plan in place)
Get peace of mind (know that your building can run around the clock even in the case of an emergency with a plan in place and equipment specified or reserved).
2. Winterize your equipment:
If you have equipment which utilizes condenser or chilled water, it is imperative that the water either be drained or have a glycol additive to prevent freeze damage. If you chose to drain your bundle or tower, remember to leave the valves open and/or plugs removed. Make sure the make up water line is valved off and drained.
Right now is a great time to check your glycol freeze points and percentages on any hydronic water systems using glycol for freeze/burst protection. Boland's Water Treatment experts can check the glycol quality and if necessary provide glycol replacement or additive chemicals to maintain/buffer the pH and increase the life and quality of the glycol.
3. Perform Proper Maintenance and Tune-Ups
Studies show that effective maintenance programs offer a higher ROI than any financial investment by making equipment more efficient, reliable, and useful. In addition to improving the function of your system, proper maintenance before the Winter season will help protect against major system failures.
Winter maintenance includes:
Checking the integrity of your heat exchanger (no rust, cracks or holes), if your system uses fossil fuel for heating.
Checking your ignitor and ignition control.
If you use oil, ensuring the filter has been replaced and the fuel tank is full.
Making sure your outside air dampers work properly, as a damper that remains open could cause issues relating to cold buildings and frozen pipes/coils.