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Optimize Your Building for the Heating Season

Posted on September 30, 2014 by HSC


Last winter’s record-setting temperatures took many of us by surprise. While we’re still early in the heating season, it’s a good time to take steps to prepare your building for the coming cold.

Good preparation can help reduce your energy costs and ensure the safety and comfort of your residents. Get started with these tips:

Heating Equipment

  • Inspect and test building and individual heating systems for proper operation.
  • Tune up, clean, or replace equipment and parts, where necessary: belts, fans, filters, grills, radiator spaces, etc.
  • Calibrate thermostats and choose appropriate set points.
  • Optimize energy efficiency:
    • Consider adding variable frequency drives (VFDs) to fans on make-up air units and other applicable equipment to save energy.
    • Enbridge customers may be eligible for Novatherm incentives – contact energyservices@hscorp.ca for more info.
  • Don’t forget about your cooling equipment. Inspect air conditioning units, chillers and cooling towers to ensure they’re winter-ready.

 

Building Envelope

  • Inspect and clean roofs, gutters, and downspouts.
    • Address leaks now before they increase under the weight of heavy snow.
  • Reduce air infiltration and leakage:
    • Caulk cracks along exterior wall-floor joints, open joints between window and door frames, trim, and adjacent walls, around pipes in the walls and floor, under sinks and behind toilet fixtures, around exhaust and supply air grill, electric boxes (outside lights and plugs on balconies and so on) and along accessible plumbing-related piping in balcony areas.
    • Close vents and other openings and seal tightly.
    • Consider upgrading insulation in basements, attics, and crawlspaces.
    • Inspect and replace windows and doors with EnergyStar rated materials.
    • Weatherization incentives are available through Enbridge, Union, and the saveONenergy programs. Contact energyservices@hscorp.ca to take advantage of the Enbridge Home Winterproofing Program.

 Grounds Maintenance

  • If applicable, ensure heat tape is working properly and potential areas for frozen pipes are addressed.
  • Winterize hoses and spigots.
  • Plant fall bulbs and sod.
  • Check lighting and security system to ensure safe operation in emergencies and as the days get shorter.
  • Prepare for the snow:
    • Stock up on supplies such as shovels, ice melt, salt, etc.
    • Inspect and prepare snow blowers.
    • Identify a snow removal company and contract as needed.
    • Create and post an emergency plan for residents to notify them during winter outages and when a major storm is coming.

What about that uncontrollable factor – your residents?

HSC’s Community Champions program engages with residents and building staff to reduce energy and water consumption and minimize waste. Community Champions is fully integrated with UMP, providing easy-to-read reports that help residents understand how their actions impact building utility consumption. Contact energyservices@hscorp.ca to access this great program.

The following sources were used to compile the above list:

 

 

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