Summer is around the bend, and according to the USA National Forecast, reports The Weather Channel, the 2019 summer weather season is expected to be warmer than average for much of the country. In addition, El Niño has a 65% chance of continuing through the summer months, bringing more substantial rainfall to the entire country. Such factors highlight the importance of a strong summer preventive maintenance program, and your organization can prepare by following these tips.
1. Replace HVAC System Filters
The most crucial factor in summer preventive maintenance focuses on the HVAC system. With the summer months expected to rival heat records, the HVAC system should be thoroughly checked and conditioned. According to Buildings.com, this should be the same process that occurred at the onset of spring, removing dirt and sludge build-up and replacing filters.
2. Check Your Roof Now and After Every Major Storm
Hot weather and humidity drive the development of severe storms, and the latter part of summer is expected to bring above-average temperatures and higher-than-average humidity to the Midwest and East Coast, presenting a higher risk for severe weather. To prepare for severe weather, managers should inspect the roof now to identify any areas of potential damage or leaks and repeat the process after each major storm.
3. Inspect Windows and Exterior Surfaces for Damage or Weaknesses
Damaged windows and degradation of the building exterior enable heat gain during the hottest months of the year, placing added strain on your HVAC system. Check all windows, window seals and exterior surfaces for damage, including cracks, missing paneling, and hail damage as well. Repair all surfaces as soon as possible.
4. Adjust Water Sprinkler Settings to Accommodate for Seasonal Weather
Depending on the outlook for your area, adjust water sprinkler settings to account for summer weather. For some areas, this may involve increasing watering frequency, changing the time of activation to early morning and night-time hours, or shutting down sprinkler systems when the extended forecast calls for more torrential rain. This will reduce runoff and lower water use.
5. Avoid Unnecessary Heating With Automated HVAC System Controls
When people get overheated, the best HVAC unit in the world is not strong enough to adequately cool a space. Unfortunately, this oversimplification means people will crank the AC up by turning the temperature far below recommended settings. To avoid this, consider implementing automated thermostats or lock-out boxes to thermostat controls. In addition, check each thermostat to ensure its proper function before the summer heat arrives.
6. Review Automated Lighting Controls and Sensors
As summer progresses, days grow longer. Review the automated lighting controls and sensors to ensure they activate during twilight hours and shut off correctly. Furthermore, organizations should also check exterior lights for signs of damage following inclement and severe weather.
7. Inspect the Grain of Ground Nearest the Foundation
The grain of ground nearest foundation should carry water away from your foundation to reduce damage. Inspect the grounds surrounding your facility to ensure any excess rainfall is carried appropriately. This is especially important for gutter placement and speaking of gutters, clean them out as well.
8. Remember Your Staff Working Outdoors
The final summer preventive maintenance tip to know goes back to safety. According to FacilitiesNet, when the air temperature reaches 95 degrees, heat stress becomes imminent. The body begins sweating, and if sweating does provide adequate cooling, heat exhaustion and heatstroke may occur. Regardless of what is planned for your summer preventive maintenance, meet with team members to revisit the importance of staying hydrated and taking frequent breaks.
Implement Summer Preventive Maintenance to Keep Costs Under Control
Summer preventive maintenance tips will help your organization stay cool and within budget during the hottest and wettest months of the year. Take the steps now to prepare your facilities to avoid the pitfalls of discomfort as summer approaches.