Mechanical Room
Expert Outlook

8 Essential Tips for Winterizing Your Facility

Author-Brittani-Sieversby Brittani SieversDec. 19, 2023

During winter or the cold months, it's imperative to take necessary winter maintenance steps to keep facilities running smoothly. Read these essential tips on how to properly prepare a facility for winter months to ensure it stays safe, comfortable, and efficient throughout the winter season. 

1.  Begin Preparation Before the First Frost 

The ideal time to start preparing is before the first frost. This is typically late in the fall depending on location  

2.  Prepare Your Facility's Maintenance Systems for Winter Regardless of Climate Zone 

Prepare your facility's maintenance systems for winter, even if you live in a location that doesn't typically experience harsh winters. Unexpected weather events can still occur, such as ice storms, dropping temperatures, windstorms, and rain. By taking proactive steps to winterize and maintain your facility, you can minimize the risk of emergency repairs, reduce downtime, and extend the lifespan of your systems. It's better to be prepared for any potential winter challenges, ensuring the safety, efficiency, and uninterrupted operation of your facility. 

3.  Monitor for Signs of Problems 

Here are some common signs and symptoms that indicate your facility's maintenance systems may need professional attention before winter sets in:  

Boilers
No hot water  
Leaks 
Low water pressure  

HVAC
Uneven heating or cooling  
Loud noises  
Increased energy bills 

4.  Establish a Building Plan 

Assess the status of your systems to identify potential vulnerabilities and critical areas that will be most impacted by inclement weather. Additionally, identify and source necessary materials to keep on hand and establish a plan outlining a response team to avoid last-minute crises.  

5.  Perform Regular Maintenance 

Mitigate potential issues before they arise by performing maintenance on systems that need work.  

6.  Conduct Pre-Freeze Audit on Building Systems 

Before entering the winter months, conduct a pre-freeze audit to assess the strength of your systems.  

7. Perform Specific Maintenance Tasks 

Certain tasks should be performed by a professional technician to ensure the reliability of your facility's systems throughout winter. These include addressing plumbing systems, domestic water systems, drains, gas lines, chilled water systems, unit heaters, boilers, electrical systems, DX systems, and fire lines.  

8.  Optimize Performance of Maintenance Systems 

Heating systems should undergo regular maintenance, and programmable thermostats should be utilized to automatically adjust temperature settings based on occupancy and time of day. Divide the facility into different zones with separate thermostats and upgrade aging heating equipment to newer, more efficient models. Seal any leaks or air gaps around windows, doors, and other openings to prevent drafts and heat loss, insulate exposed heating pipes, and utilize energy-efficient upgrades.  

 

Through proactive planning and maintenance, facilities can be properly winterized to ensure the safety, comfort, and efficiency of operations throughout the winter months.