Even though it feels like the summer heat has barely subsided, winter is just around the corner! Taking a few precautions and applying some best practices this fall can help you save both money and energy once the cold hits. Here at MACH, we’ve had a lot of experience with buildings (and winter!) We’re happy to share some pro tips, and we’ve also prepared a WINTER CHECKLIST to help you in your building prep.
Calendars, clocks and weather: Just because the calendar says it’s fall doesn’t mean the weather will always agree. Rather than adjusting your BMS settings or auxiliary heaters according to an arbitrary date, let the weather be your guide. In other words, hold off on that 100kW of baseboard heat until it’s actually cold! That said, one instance is still entirely up to the calendar: make sure your time clocks are adjusted to Standard Time on Sunday, Nov. 1st, including any lighting time clocks without sensors.
An ounce of prevention: Before flipping the switch from cooling to heat, it is critical to perform comprehensive maintenance protocols. But don’t worry about the complexity – we’ve got you covered. After talking with engineers at some peak performing commercial office buildings, Team MACH has assembled a winterization checklist here to help guide you and your team.
Shut it down: Taking the time to properly shut down chillers and cooling towers can both improve efficiency and extend equipment life. For cooling towers in particular, be sure to drain below the roofline to prevent freezing damage. Performing a rigorous inspection on all your cooling equipment is necessary preparation for scheduled winter maintenance and temporary hibernation.
Put a coat on it: Even the most efficient equipment on earth will run overtime if your building is a sieve. Thoroughly check for air leaks and gaps in insulation. Repair, replace and refill those insulation gaps to minimize energy waste. And remember that old outside air dampers are a notorious culprits for allowing cold air in and causing energy waste, so be sure that they’re functioning properly!
Monitor, measure & meter: MACH Energy’s software can help you track and report the benefits of these winterization efforts in the form of reduced energy consumption. We can also proactively alert you to changes in building behavior that may be undermining your efficiency initiatives, direct you towards opportunities to further improve performance, and give you the data you need to keep you and your tenants warm – starting this winter!
What do you think? Do you have any other tips you want to share? If so, feel free to comment below--We’re confident that by following these simple steps, you can maximize your building efficiency this winter.
Download our Winter Checklist here!