Energy efficiency

Is your heating system ready for another polar vortex?


Is your heating system ready for another polar vortex? Before winter begins blasting us with cold nights and deep breezes, make sure your heating system is ready for the long days ahead. Take a look at our five maintenance tips to help you get your system running smoothly today.

1. Stick to Preventive Maintenance Schedules

Routine cleaning, a frequently deferred maintenance task, can have a significant impact on energy efficiency, according to the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP)’s O&M Center of Excellence. Dirty coils can reduce efficiency by as much as 30%.  Specialized skills and equipment are often required to properly clean most HVAC systems.

2. Air filters

Dirty air filters reduce system efficiencies by restricting air flow and causing fan motors to work harder than necessary.  This increases energy costs and negatively impacts equipment lifespan.  Utilizing the correct filter is also important and can save money in the long run as well.

3. Temperature setpoints and Setback Scheduling

Ensuring your facilities temperature setpoints are within acceptable range will result in energy savings and better occupant comfort.  Optimizing setback schedules ensures maximum savings are realized without negatively impacting occupant comfort.  It is recommended to have your facilities HVAC operating schedule checked by a skilled BAS technician on an annual basis.

4. Boiler Systems

Testing for proper combustion is a critical step in achieving both maximum efficiency and safe burner operation. A combustion analysis, performed by a trained technician, will ensure your boiler is operating within safe and efficient parameters.  Improper combustion can result in high levels of carbon monoxide, a risk for any facility, and can soot the inside of the unit, causing reduced efficiency by as much as 50%.

Water treatment needs to be tested annually to ensure proper levels of inhibitors are present to prevent corrosion within the heating system.  Inhibitors that protect against corrosion don’t last forever and need to be boosted to maintain protection. Testing should be performed prior to each heating season to ensure the system is protected from both corrosion and potential freezing, depending on the equipment design.

5. Safety Relief Valve

It can be argued that the relief valve, or safety relief valve, is one of the most important safety devices on the boiler, or perhaps even the most important safety device. It is intended to prevent catastrophic failure if there is a failure of any component in the control circuitry that regulates the firing of the boiler.

Each safety relief valve should be inspected and tested annually by a competent person.

(Bob__Lima_City_Schools)_017The last thing you want is your heating system breaking down in the middle of January. Follow these five HVAC Maintenance tips now to ensure your system is ready to hum along smoothly for the winter blast ahead.

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