Winter Prep Tips for Facility Managers
Winter can be a tough season for facilities managers. You get used to checking the weather several times a day, and have learned that you can’t trust any forecast 100%. Weather patterns are less predictable now more than ever, and the news makes it pretty clear that abnormal weather events can become the norm.
It should be noted that it is wise to embrace the Boy Scouts’ adage: Be prepared.
Operators should develop, and maintain, a set of seasonal tasks lists that they consult, add to, and adjust every year. Here is one starter checklist to you prepare you for the winter ahead. Planning in advance, prepping in advance and being prepared can go a long way to surviving a blizzard, an ice storm, or a power outage with relative ease.
Cooling Tower Shutdown
Check our cooling tower shutdown resources and do it properly. The result will pay off come spring, there will be less problems and fewer surprises.
We also have good resources on seasonal boiler startup. Get your boiler off on the right foot, protect the boiler against corrosion and scale from start up. The result will be you will have an easier time maintaining it throughout the heating season.
Change Filters and Clean Ducts in HVAC Systems
Most of us have installed highly effective filters in response to COVID-19. These tighter filters get clogged faster, so be sure to monitor and replace them when needed. Clean ducts to get rid of dust, debris, and mold spores. If you haven’t considered a UV sanitizer, yet you might want to explore their value to help eliminate airborne viral particles.
Improve Your Ventilation
Research shows the SARS-CoV-2 virus can remain airborne for longer than previously thought. For this reason, bringing fresh air in will dilute the number of viral particles in the air. Yes, you’ll pay more for heat, but you’ll have a healthier interior environment.
Prepare for Power Outages
Storms can take down power lines and the grid can get overwhelmed, as Texas demonstrated in February 2021. Have a generator and make sure you know how to use it and how you’ll keep it fueled. Also have emergency lighting in order, and a plan for power outages. Know where shutoff valves and master switches are located, and establish and document the correct procedure to get utilities back online safely.
Winter weather can delay shipments, so make sure you have an adequate supply of essentials on hand such as cleaning supplies, disinfectants, de-icing supplies, disposable masks, hand sanitizer, paper products and water treatment chemicals.
While people don’t spend as much time outdoors in winter, COVID winters are a little different. Plan ahead for protected or heated outdoor areas for the stoic people who will want to hang out outside, whether to avoid COVID, or just to prove that they’re Minnesota tough.
Disconnect Exterior Hoses and Protect Faucets
Don’t forget to disconnect all exterior hoses and protect faucets from freezing. Treat unheated spaces like exterior spaces. Insulate pipes in unheated spaces.
If you need any professional consultation on your seasonal cooling tower shutdown and boiler startup, please reach out to us at Chemtex. Our experienced techs will help you perform your seasonal transitions and keep your system in the best possible balance, so it will be in good shape when winter draws to a close.