Winterizing your pipes is a task that is on many homeowner’s winter to-do checklist. This also applies to business owners, because frozen pipes are a leading source of property damage. These are some tips we recommend to prepare your business pipes for winter:
Activate your Humidifier
If you have a humidifier attached to your furnace, make sure it is turned on for winter. Check the drain line to make sure it is clear and the filter to make sure it is clean. Check to make sure that the humidistat is calling for humidity when the furnace is running.
Open the water supply to the humidifier and turn the power on to the furnace. When the furnace begins running, the humidistat should call for humidity, the solenoid valve should open, and water should come out of the water inlet tube and drain into the humidifier drain. If it doesn’t, you may need service.1
Make Sure Insulation is Adequate
Insulation is vital in helping to reduce the exchange of heat through a surface, such as a building’s walls and ceiling. If your building is well-insulated, less warm air will escape during the winter.
In order to winterize your business to control energy costs, have a professional insulation installer or builder evaluate the existing insulation in your building. If it’s not sufficient, now is the time to improve the insulation.2
Prepare the Pipes
Freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on piping since, when water freezes, the pressure builds up in the pipes and can cause them to burst.
When winterizing your business to control energy costs, don’t neglect the pipes. Ensure all exterior pipes and interior ones in unheated areas are sufficiently insulated. Flexible elastomeric insulation works well on exterior pipes to give them the insulation they will require in the winter to prevent the water inside from freezing, causing the pipes to burst. Winterizing your pipes can prevent an expensive disaster.3
Have your Heating System Checked and Maintained
Looking after your business’s boiler and heating system will ensure it works efficiently and effectively all year round. Before the cold weather arrives and the heating system is forced to go into overdrive, have it checked.
Problems, such as airlocks, thermostat issues, leakage, and dripping, may mean your business’s heating system is not running efficiently. An inefficient heating system could mean increased energy bills.
Having the system checked and regularly maintained will ensure it runs as efficiently as it should, all year round.4
Get Smart About Lighting
As the Department of Energy highlights, lighting is responsible for almost 25 percent of commercial energy costs. In order to crack down on business energy costs, the winterization of your business should include replacing conventional, energy-zapping light bulbs with energy-efficient ones.
LED bulbs use around 75 percent less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. These energy-saving bulbs also typically last 10-25 times longer than conventional bulbs.
Automate Your Thermostat
Having a programmable thermostat installed in a building can reduce heating costs by as much as 30 percent. During low-occupancy hours, set the thermostat several degrees lower compared to peak times to make significant energy savings.
Check Heating Ducts
If your business has heating ducts, check them to see if the insulation needs to be replaced. Inadequately insulated heating ducts will mean the heating system has to work harder to keep the building warm, resulting in higher energy bills.
Change Furnace Filters
Prior to the winter months setting in, it’s recommended that you clean or replace furnace filters. Clogged up, dirty filters can restrict airflow, resulting in increased energy demand.
Test Your Sump Pump
Look for signs of moisture. Open the lid and pour a five-gallon bucket of water into the sump pit. It should activate. If nothing happens and the pump doesn’t turn on, you may need service.
If your sump pump runs often, you may want to consider purchasing a battery backup sump pump to avoid disaster.