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It’s Heating Season!

Posted in Bylaws / Regulations, Communications, Health & Safety, HVAC / Mechanical, Interior Building, Utility Management

It’s Heating Season!

It’s that time of year once again, when building heating systems need to be available when needed. From September 15 through to June 1, landlords are required to maintain the suite temperature at 21 C. Cleaning of the boiler systems should have been completed by now and all deficiencies rectified. Indoor/outdoor heating controls should be calibrated and set to provide heat, typically when temperatures fall below 15 C outdoors. Many buildings with automation systems will automatically engage the pumps and boilers to deliver low heating supplies, but buildings with manual systems are typically monitored by the site staff and are turned on when required.

Many corridor make-up air systems provide heated air and should have been serviced and/or repaired by now. Controls for corridor air supplies should be set to around 62–68 F (17 C to 19 C) and are meant to pressurize the hallways and assist suite exhaust systems, ultimately preventing cooking odours from emanating into the corridors.


Underground parking facilities should test the entrance ramp heating systems to ensure proper operation and that automatic controls are on standby. Ramp trench drains should be cleared of leaves later in the fall season to allow melting snow runoff to drain. Dry sprinkler systems require the condensate to be drained from the drip drums prior to cold weather, and electric pipe heat tracing systems must be tested and operational. Heating systems for underground parking garages should be on standby and turned on at the beginning of November.

In terms of landscaping for winter, ensure ground water systems are turned off and flushed out with compressed air sometime in October. Order your snow melting products and remind staff to complete snow/salt logs for each building, or ensure landscape contractor provides salt logs as part of their services. At some properties, garage stairwell exits fill in with drifting snow and impede exiting. Have your staff or landscape contractor affix plywood or burlap to the existing stairwell railing for the winter to stop drifting snow. Ensure your snow removal contract is in place for a November 1, 2014 start date.

Finally, for any managers that have glycol heating systems (ramps, make-up air, etc.) please ensure your service provider tests the glycol fluid against freeze capability. Glycol liquid can be affected by PH change over time, which causes the glycol to become acidic and loose its anti-freeze capability.  Glycol systems need to be flushed and recharged every 5-7 years or at the least monitored and tested annually.

Story by: Greenwin Inc.