Monday may bring the coldest local temperatures we’ve seen in this area in 10 years.

While we’re not getting the type of storm that paralyzed the Northeast, businesses in our region must prepare for Old Man Winter’s worst by taking some smart steps.

Winter weather can take its toll on property. Water damage, freezing and frozen pipes, and roofs damaged by ice dams are just a few things that can go wrong.

Be aware that water pipes with exposure to an outside wall are susceptible to freezing, leading to a pipe burst. This is entirely preventable by simply leaving the faucet dripping.

cold-weather“We know that these extreme temperatures can create problems with boilers and chiller systems,” said Gerry Lewis, Alpha Energy Solutions’ Director of Sales. “That’s why our people are on call 24/7. Our preventative maintenance programs address cold-weather issues to make sure our customers are ready for the worst.”

Here are some tips for making sure the heating system at your business is operating properly:

  1. Stop air leaks. Damaged or poorly insulated windows, doors, and walls lead to cold air drafts that can significantly increase utility bills.
  2. Keep the heat where you need it.  Cover heating vents in storage rooms and unused offices, so you are only heating occupied work areas.
  3. Maintain your HVAC system. Get a professional inspection and tune-up your HVAC system. Duct leaks, clogged filters, and other issues can reduce heating efficiency by more than 20 percent, and servicing of your system can lower your energy costs.
  4. Upgrade your HVAC air filter. As cold weather keeps windows closed, winter can also raise indoor air-quality concerns. Poor indoor air quality is estimated to cause or aggravate half of all employee illnesses, affecting productivity and employee satisfaction.