Building Automation, HVAC Equipment, CCTV, Healthy Buildings

Winter is Coming! 9 Things to Check in Your Building Before Then (#5 Will Shock You)

I am pretty sure we all feel like we have been robbed of our normal, activity-filled summers that build happy memories. And now, as it comes to an end, fall is upon us and winter will be here soon enough. Along with your normal fall-time chores at home, such as cleaning out the gutters and putting the lawn furniture away, your commercial building will also require some attention. We came up with a list of 9 things that will help keep your building, and its systems, in tip-top shape through the winter, so you can focus on being productive.

  1. Replace those dirty HVAC filters! Summer dust and forest-fire smoke has certainly been prevalent throughout much of the US, not to mention a nasty virus that has been on the loose. Be sure to check the rating on the filter and use MERV-13 (or higher) whenever possible. Though these filters will not necessarily prevent viruses (it has yet to be scientifically proven), they will help capture other bad particles, keeping your air clean!
  2. Check and replace HVAC fan belts. Belts tend to snap when the temperature drops, which is the worst possible time for that to happen! 
  3. Door and window seals. Door sweeps, along the bottom of the door, are usually the first seal to wear out, followed by the strike-side of the door frame. Make sure that no sunlight or drafts are getting through. $20 seals can save you hundreds of dollars in energy cost over a season.
  4. While we are on the topic of doors and windows, lightly lubricate the locks and hinges with a silicone-based lubricant.  The locks may need special attention on the mechanical parts internally, as well the key cylinder.
  5. Set your humidity to 40% - 60%RH. This level of humidity will prevent that horrible shock you get on door knobs in the winter (see, it wasn’t click-bait, it will literally shock you!). An added bonus to these humidity levels that is probably way more important: this relative humidity level also damages viruses and bacteria, effectively minimizing the airborne transmission of sickness. Less sick days and more productivity! Contact LONG to see if these humidity levels will work for your building.
  6. Double check your building’s controls schedule and set points to ensure they are optimized for our new environment and your work flow. Give LONG a call if you have any questions about how this should be done.
  7. System batteries should be tested, inspected, and replaced if they are older than 3 years. Access Control, Fire Alarms, Intrusion Alarms, and Controls Systems are just a few in your building that likely have these batteries. They always seem to go bad and cause problems Friday after 5 pm. Every. Time.
  8. Gently wipe down the dome covers to your CCTV system. The dust build up will create a great many issues during the winter and it is important they are very clean. Make sure to follow all OSHA rules and guidelines surrounding ladder and fall protection while up there!
  9. This is probably the most important one of all: yourself. Schedule a doctor’s check-up, call your mom, play with your dog, and hug your kids. Take care of yourself, your loved ones, your customers, and co-workers. None of this works without you. Be safe out there!

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Chris Bracken

Christopher Bracken the Branch Manager for all LONG business units in Alaska. Chris is also a professional artist and enjoys his family time as a proud Dad to three highly-energetic boys.