Winter Heating Efficiency for your Business
As the nights get longer and the temperatures drop, it’s time to start thinking about winter heating efficiency for your business. Buildings must be kept warm enough to provide for employee comfort. Here are some smart tips so you do not get left in the cold this winter.
Schedule a system inspection before it gets cold.
In the winter, most of a building’s utility costs will stem from the energy needed to heat the space. In order to ensure that your HVAC system is up to the task, we recommend scheduling an inspection before the cold weather hits. This will ensure against unnecessary outages, as well as increased heating costs.
Conduct an energy audit.
When you schedule your heating system, it’s also a good idea to conduct an energy audit and check for any drafts or leaks that can let air out. For example, if you notice frost around any exterior walls, this could signal a draft or insulation problem. Stopping up any leaks will cut down on the amount of wasted energy expended during the colder seasons.
Check your gas lines and connections.
If you get your heat via natural gas or forced air, gas lines and connections should be checked for any signs of corrosion. If gas doesn’t flow to your facility, there is no way to heat the building! If any pipes or fittings need to be replaced, we recommend using corrosion-free materials. This will limit the instance of any future problems.
Flat Roof inspection and snow removal plan.
Many commercial buildings have flat roofs. These require periodic inspection and maintenance, as they will take a lot of abuse in the winter. Roofs should not have areas where ice and snow can pile up. Weekly inspections should be scheduled to check for any standing water, ice, or snow that can cause problems. The maintenance plan should also include procedures for snow removal, as the sun may not melt all of the snow. Heavy snow and ice could potentially affect the structural integrity of the roof, causing more costly repairs down the line. Drains should remain clear so that they can adequately drain water away from the roof.
Slanted roof inspection.
If your roof is slanted, maintenance procedures are similar. Vents and shingles should be inspected before the first snowfall hits, and any waterproofing seals along the edge should be checked. Ice check breakers will protect clients and employees from falling ice, and again, drains and gutters should be kept clear. The advantage of a slanted roof, however, is that you won’t need to implement snow-removal procedures. Gravity will do all of the work for you!
Formulate power outage procedures.
If your business loses power due to a winter storm, ensure that you have a backup generator to protect valuable inventory and data. Snow, ice, and high winds can knock out power lines, leaving you in the dark. Additionally, ensure that your facility has properly installed surge protectors in case of an electricity surge or lightning strike.
Property snow removal strategy.
In the event of a snow storm, ensure that you have a plan in place for snow removal. Walkways and parking lots must be shoveled or plowed, and salted. Any excess snow that is removed needs to be stored or dumped in a designated area. All-weather mats should be placed inside your entrance to absorb any moisture your employees or customers track in, as wet floors can pose a serious slipping hazard.
If you’d like to schedule an inspection of your HVAC systems or an energy audit, contact us. We’d love to help you get your facility ready for the colder weather!