Commercial HVAC Maintenance Winter Checklist

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Prepare HVAC Systems for Winter with Preventative Maintenance

Winter officially begins on December 21st. And based on The Farmers’ Almanac’s winter 2022-2023 forecast, it looks like it’s going to be a slushy, icy, snowy season in New York City. Has your facility leveraged an HVAC maintenance program to prepare for the changing seasons?

Imagine that you’ve used the same coat each winter for the past 10 years. Unless you’ve been diligently patching it up over time, it’s likely to have some wear and tear. This allows freezing air to seep through the cracks, resulting in ineffective winter gear.

Your commercial HVAC systems follow a similar concept. Without the proper maintenance, your commercial building will struggle to retain a comfortable indoor temperature. If your equipment is outdated and no longer performing efficiently, it’s time to conduct maintenance before temperatures drop.

At The BP Group, our experienced commercial HVAC specialists have the knowledge to keep your building comfortable year-round. Follow our commercial HVAC winter checklist to avoid expensive equipment breakdowns and frigid working conditions.


Step #1: Inspect and Clean HVAC Duct Insulation

Maintaining your commercial HVAC duct insulation is vital for keeping your business warm and your costs down this winter. However, it’s often overlooked and left in poor condition. So, why is it important?

Insulated ductwork reduces the amount of condensation in your HVAC equipment. This will help prevent the growth of mildew, mold, and other harmful microorganisms in your air ducts. Reducing ductwork condensation is also imperative for avoiding damage to your facility and its systems.

Additionally, when air ducts are properly insulated, temperatures are more consistent. Hot air will stay hot during the winter and cold air will stay cold during the summer. As a result, occupants can enjoy a toasty workplace even in sub-zero weather.

Aside from your duct insulation, there are other steps you can take throughout the winter to prevent issues with your facility’s HVAC systems.


Step #2: Change Your HVAC Filters

Facility managers should replace their building’s HVAC filters about once per month. Although the frequency of filter changes will vary depending on the size of your building, replacing filters around autumn is essential.

Once the temperature drops below about 60ºF, people tend to close their windows. This prevents fresh air from coming in and traps contaminants in your building. Filters become clogged with debris, dust, and bacteria over time. All of these issues cause your systems to run inefficiently.
In fact, dirty filters are associated with an array of issues. Here are just a few:

  • Increased spread of illness amongst occupants
  • Agitated allergies
  • Inefficient systems that rack up energy costs
  • Inadequate indoor air temperature
  • Loud, distracting equipment
  • Frozen evaporator coils

With all the complications that dirty filters create, it’s in your best interest to contact your commercial HVAC specialist for an inspection before wintertime.


Step #3: Check for Leaks

Another essential step is to take a look at your facility’s pipes to make sure that nothing is leaking. If a pipe is leaking and the liquid freezes during the winter months, it could lead to pipes bursting.

You may have heard that it’s a good idea to turn your thermostat low when your building is empty. However, setting the temperature too low can cause your pipes to freeze overnight. Again, this creates the risk of burst pipes.

Repairs can add up to thousands of dollars depending on how severe the damages are. That’s why we recommend setting your thermostat to no lower than 68ºF overnight. Even if your facility will be unoccupied for over a week, it’s best to keep the heat running as a precaution.

Avoid getting hit with a hefty maintenance bill by proactively checking for leaks and refraining from setting the temperature too low.


Step #4: Leverage Commercial HVAC Analytics

Keeping your commercial HVAC systems running effectively is easier when you’re tracking performance with advanced analytics. Facilities waste about 10% of the energy they consume due to inefficient HVAC operations.

By gathering data from your HVAC equipment, The BP Group can create a highly effective energy efficiency plan. Beyond more efficient systems, collecting and analyzing data has several advantages:

  • Optimal temperatures. Keeping a close eye on HVAC performance is key for preventing breakdowns and maintaining comfortable temperatures year-round.
  • Reduced maintenance costs. Digital analytics alone accounts for up to 20% of maintenance cost savings for commercial HVAC equipment. With constant performance tracking, fixing any issues is quicker, easier, and cheaper.
  • Reduced equipment downtime. System failures can happen. But with built-in HVAC diagnostics, we can swiftly identify the root of the problem. That way, our technicians will know exactly what needs to be fixed before we arrive.
  • Improved indoor air quality (IAQ). Air quality can vary greatly between facilities depending on foot traffic, equipment, and location. With facility HVAC analytics, you’ll gain insights into how clean your indoor air is (and how to make any needed adjustments).

Essentially, if you have yet to leverage HVAC asset analytics, your facility is likely losing money. Troubleshooting will take longer and your systems will run less efficiently without the benefit of analytics.


Step #5: Partner with a Commercial HVAC Insulation Expert

Our commercial HVAC contractors in our Legacy Insulation Division specialize in helping building managers run cost-effective, temperature-controlled facilities. Our technicians are proud members of Local 12 Union and receive extensive training to offer effective thermal insulation services.

Partner with our trusted team to keep your occupants comfortable and your costs down this winter – and beyond. Contact us today to learn more and get started.