Winter is Coming

Protect your investment. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Schedule preventive walk-throughs in your building prior to a predicted cold snap. Visit remote areas, particularly rooms accessible only from outside service doors, including fire sprinkler riser rooms, medical gas storage rooms, janitor's closets, and other areas people are not regularly working in. Check for heat sources such as electric baseboard heaters and verify they are operating.
  • Remove dropped ceiling tiles and check plenums above ceilings around the perimeter of your building, in smaller rooms on single-story buildings, or the highest floor in a multi-story building. Make sure temperatures are greater than 45 degrees above the ceiling and that proper insulation exists between the plenum and outside walls or the roof, especially if the other walls go all the way to the deck. While it is unattractive, removing a ceiling tile or two to allow tempered air into the plenum on the coldest day of the year could save you tens of thousands of dollars.
  • Have an agreement in place with your HVAC or Fire Protection contractor to check glycol in sprinkler systems and boiler or chiller loops, and to flush out any chilled water coils that are not being used during the winter.
  • If you have vacant buildings or unfinished spaces you are responsible for, visit them and perform these same measures. Oftentimes broken glass, failed outside air dampers, or other problems that an occupant is not there to complain about may be waiting to ruin your day.

Ahern responds to hundreds of emergency service calls per year related to restoring a heat source, replacing broken sprinkler heads, or re-plumbing frozen water pipes. Most of these calls could have been prevented by following the suggestions above.

We provide comprehensive winterization services as a part of your routine inspection. Services include:

  • Draining of low point auxiliary drains and condensate from compressor tanks
  • Checking the priming water level
  • Verifying the temperature of valve enclosures
  • Checking the strength of antifreeze solutions
  • Inspecting air compressor oil levels, belts, and all related equipment
  • Verifying that all systems are in service

Schedule your winterization check today... before it's too cold!