In cold weather, your commercial building is subject to heat loss, frozen pipes, high energy bills, and other challenges that could put your equipment at risk and create uncomfortable conditions for your tenants, employees, and visitors. Without appropriate heating during the winter months, you could face costly repairs, as well.
Preventative maintenance is essential to keep your HVAC system in working order all year around. Here are a few other tips to help you keep your commercial facility warm this winter:
Check Your Windows
So much heat loss can be mitigated by ensuring your doors and windows are properly sealed. If you have an older commercial building, it may be time to replace the windows with double- or triple-pane glass with a low U-factor.
Use a Programmable Thermostat
By setting your thermostat to maintain a warmer space when people are present and a cooler space when your business is closed, you can save a lot on your energy bills over the winter months. The programmable wall thermostats from Modine and other leading manufacturers are designed to be easy to install and use. To ensure the temperature settings can't be accidentally altered or intentionally tampered with, many companies offer tamper-resistant programmable thermostats or thermostat covers, like this Sterling thermostat enclosure with a hinged access door and locking cover for use on the Sterling series RSS and RSU thermostats.
You should have a set minimum for your temperature, too. If the temperature drops too low, your heating systems have to work a lot harder to bring it back up to a comfortable level, which requires more energy and leads to higher energy bills.
Protect Your Pipes
Keep your building at a minimum low temperature of 55 degrees, and consider additional freeze protection like commercial heat trace cables. With frozen pipes, you may not have ample running water for your facility, and it increases the chances of a ruptured pipe. If a pipe bursts, not only do you need to repair the pipe, you also may need to repair any associated water damage.
Consider Supplemental Heating
Instead of running the whole system on high in an attempt to make hard-to-heat spaces more comfortable, consider adding efficient supplemental heating. Beacon Morris Twin-Flo III kickspace heaters are common in bathrooms, lobbies, hallways, and laundry rooms as a space-saving heat source.
While Re-Verber-Ray patio heaters are typically thought of as an outdoor heating solution that allows restaurants to extend their patio season, the company also makes infrared heaters that are rated for indoor use. The Re-Verber-Ray DSS-35B1-C25 Electric Infrared Heater, for example, is ETL Listed and CE Certified for indoor and outdoor applications. Radiant heating is a great way to ensure the room is evenly heated, without any cold spots.
Schedule Preventative Maintenance
If your heating system breaks down during cold weather, you may have to close your business and send your employees and customers home. Preventative maintenance is the best way to avoid problems—or catch small problems before they become big ones. Your maintenance program may include:
- Cleaning the HVAC system to remove dust and debris that could restrict air flow and force the system to work harder than it should
- Cleaning or replacing air filters
- Check and clean vents and drains
- Make sure the thermostat is working correctly
- Check coils, cords, electrical connections, switches, and more for wear or malfunction
- And more
HVAC preventative maintenance should be scheduled at least twice a year, in the spring and the fall, but you should refer to your manufacturer's guide to ensure a proper maintenance schedule for that particular system.
Heating your commercial building during the winter doesn't have to lead to higher energy bills. Take preventative maintenance and other steps now to ensure your HVAC system stays in working order throughout the winter months. Contact us to learn more about cost-effective, energy-efficient heating solutions from leading manufacturers like Re-Verber-Ray, Sterling, Modine, Beacon Morris, and more.