4 Winter Efficiency & Maintenance Tips For Commercial HVAC Systems
With the Pennsylvania and New Jersey area’s low winter temperatures, heating becomes one of your biggest operating expenses as soon as the cool weather moves in. Following a few basic winter maintenance tips for your commercial heating system will keep it in shape so it performs efficiently, safely, and reliably all season.
Maintain Your Air Filters
Dirty HVAC air filters restrict airflow into the system, making the motor work harder to pull in the amount of air the system needs. This increases the motor’s energy use, raising your heating bill. It also wears out the faster.
Replacing your air filter on schedule prevents these issues. Once a month, pull out your filter and hold it up to a light. If you can’t see light shining through, put in a clean filter. Most standard fiberglass filters should be replaced monthly during the heating season. Higher-efficiency pleated filters last longer and, unlike low-efficiency filters, they improve the air quality in your building.
Calibrate Your Thermostat
Ensuring your thermostat works correctly is one of the simplest winter maintenance tips for helping your heating system keep you comfortable affordably.
Your thermostat can fall out of calibration and misread the room temperature. If it reads the temperature as 62 degrees when it’s actually 65 degrees, the heating system will overheat your whole building, potentially increasing your heating bill by up to 10 percent. If the thermostat reads the room temperature as higher than it really is, the system will provide too little heat.
You can check your thermostat’s calibration with a thermometer. First, dust the thermostat’s internal components. Turn your heating system on and tape a thermometer to the wall beside the thermostat loosely enough that you can slip a towel between the wall and the thermometer. Wait 15 minutes. If your thermostat’s reading doesn’t match the thermometer’s, use the calibration screw to re-calibrate the thermostat. If there is no calibration screw, contact a technician.
Repair or Replace Faulty Components
A poorly functioning component is less energy efficient and will run up your heating bills. Worse yet, the component is likely to fail completely when demand on it is highest, leaving you without heat during the coldest days of the year.
If you’ve been having problems with poor temperature control, strange noises or odors, soot accumulation or a boom when the gas furnace kicks on, have a technician take care of those issues early in the heating season. Sometimes a simple cleaning can solve the problem. Efficiency-related improvements, such as sealing and insulating your ducts or duct cleaning, should also be done early if you want maximum benefits from them this season.
Schedule Professional Maintenance
Many of the best winter maintenance tips for your commercial heating system are things you can take care of yourself, but there are still plenty of jobs that require a professional. Every year before the heating season begins, schedule a professional inspection for your system.
Your technician will inspect the entire system to clean and make minor repairs as necessary. This includes cleaning the burner, inspecting the heat exchanger for cracks, testing the motor for correct voltage and amp draw, cleaning the blower fan, tightening wires, and checking the flue for blockages.
All these jobs keep your system running safely and efficiently. Annual inspections are also necessary to keep your warranty valid. For convenience as well as favorable pricing and scheduling, consider signing up for a maintenance plan.