As critical facility systems are put to the test in extreme summer heat, FacilityDude, a Cary, NC based provider of cloud-based operations management solutions, shares advice for facility managers dealing with summer heat related maintenance issues.
“While winter is often thought of as the most brutal season for buildings and grounds, summertime’s hazardous heat can be damaging to a facility’s systems, structures, and grounds if not proactively managed,” says Lee Prevost, Dude Solutions’ chief strategy officer. “Facility managers that get ahead and stay on top of facility maintenance for important systems like their HVAC and repair outdoor grounds and exterior issues will avoid costly expenditures and keep their constituents safe and comfortable.”
Tips for extreme heat facility maintenance include:
1. Assess the Chiller. Take stock in the HVAC system to determine if it needs an upgrade or altogether replacement. An inefficient system can drain a facility’s energy efficiency management budget. Simple monitoring of issues like air filter replacements, refrigerant leaks, and the amount of refrigerant used each time through software like FacilityDude can help facility managers identify potential problems and will reduce the need for entire HVAC replacements in the future.
2. Keep the HVAC Reliable. When temperatures tick up into the 90s and 100s, the air conditioning is put to the test, particularly in a larger facility. Maintaining aggressive inspection and preventive maintenance schedules can mean the difference between costly expenditures and uninterrupted service.
3. Give it a Break. Keeping the air conditioner thermostat at a consistent temperature reduces the strain on a large system when temperatures are in flux throughout the day. Another trick often overlooked is simply reducing the amount of direct sunlight that comes through the windows. Pulling blinds down during the hottest hours of the day and planting taller shrubs outside east- and west-facing windows will ease stress on the chiller.
4. Don’t Ignore the Outdoors. Whether it’s the grounds or the building façade, extreme summer heat can wreak havoc on turf, sidewalks, and exterior windows and siding. As sidewalks can easily crack with extreme temperatures, seal cracks as soon as they pop to help prevent further water damage.