We know that lockdown closure is presenting a huge challenge for businesses and schools affected – but it can be an opportunity to catch up on important maintenance in key areas such as your heating system.
Below are some basic tips to help you maximise your ‘downtime’ over the coming weeks, and make sure your heating is in the best possible shape throughout the rest of the winter.
Leave the heating on at low temperatures
To properly maintain your heating systems, leaving the heating on at reduced temperatures not only ensures that you don’t end up with frozen pipes but also guarantees that the equipment you have inside the building (including both soft furnishings and electrical devices) doesn’t get damaged in any way due to cold air or moisture.
With an empty building, now is also a good time to carry out a business heating/cooling requirement assessment, to assess things like server rooms or kitchen areas which will need optimum temperature control when things return to normal.
Repair any long-standing ‘niggles’
Whether you are open or closed, your heating system is still required to be serviced to its usual schedule – and your annual gas safety check
still needs to be carried out on time.
Under normal circumstances, maintenance visits can cause disruption, so it’s best to take advantage when fewer staff are in the building, and booking a heating ‘health check’
to keep things running smoothly – and fix any persistant problems that might come back to bite when you get back to business as usual.
Check for drips and leaks
Leaks can be a symptom of – or can cause – bigger faults – and should be investigated straight away. Water can damage your building, and lead to rusting or corrosion inside the boiler itself which could leave you no alternative but to replace it. Check for puddles or moisture before you leave the building, and return to check again where possible during closure.
Replace old or problematic boilers
If problems can’t be fixed, it may be a good idea to swap out your boiler during closure and take advantage of quiet or empty premises. If you still have a pilot light, it’s probably time for an upgrade and lockdown could be a good opportunity to review your system
as a whole.
Tidy your plant room
It’s important to keep rubbish and clutter away from your boiler at all times, but especially when your building is unoccupied. Poor ventilation can impact the efficiency of your appliance, and of course poses a fire hazard
Run the water system periodically
If you have a reasonably large property, ‘flushing’ your hot and cold water systems every week or so is recommended to ensure there will be no bacterial growth in your pipework. Simply run the taps or flush the toilets weekly to ensure the water systems continue to operate correctly.
Note: This is not to be confused with a heating system power flush – which could be an option during quieter times – please ask an expert for details.
Bleed your radiators
This is a ‘quick win’, especially if your heating system wasn’t getting up to the temperatures
you needed before lockdown. You’ll need a radiator key to carefully open the valve that will allow for any air build-ups to be released. Once bled, your radiator should warm up all the way to the top.
Check the system pressure
Before you leave the premises (especially if you’ve bled your radiators), check the pressure gauge on your boiler (referring to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure) but if not, follow your appliance manual instructions to re-pressurise.
We’re here to help in whatever ways we can during this difficult time for businesses. If you need to help with any commercial heating maintenance during lockdown or beyond, contact our experts today.