Heating Season Tips

Published: March 18, 2021

By: Felix Rodriguez, Equipment Specialist

Building Envelope Cold Spots & Equipment Overheating

To find building envelope cold spots including: insulation, air leaks and internal air leaks, perform a visual inspection with a thermal image camera.

  • Use a thermal image camera and identify areas in your building were insulation could be missing.
  • Check for air leaks around outlets, doors, windows & light fixtures.
  • Identify motors overheating.
  • Identify why electric breakers are tripping.

Heat loss through your building envelope may be the cause why you are cranking up your system to meet occupant comfort which leads to higher bills and overloading your equipment.

Clean or Clear Chimney, Ducts and Filters

Visual inspection with video borescope

  • Use the video borescope to see a visual of those hard to reach places were maintenance may be required.
  • Check your air ducts for dirt build up.
  • Change and clean your filters.
  • Check your chimney and make sure is clear.
Change and clean your filters.
Check your air ducts for dirt build up.
Use video borescope for hard to reach spaces

Boiler Sequencing and Short Cycling

If using non-modulating boilers it may be better to stage subsequent boilers on once the primary boiler has reached full capacity, rather than cycling multiple boilers on and off to meet the load.

Cycling a boiler on and off is very inefficient because there is a pre-ignition purge and a post-ignition purge that draws heat out of the boiler with each cycle, we want to always avoid frequent cycling.

Use a motor on/off logger to confirm your boiler is staging properly, not short cycling, also to confirm your equipment is being true to it’s programmed schedule. A motor on/off data logger records motor on and off conditions within an AC magnetic field with its internal sensor.

Boiler Tune-up

Create a checklist that will help you understand if your boiler needs a tune-up or if its not functioning properly.

  • Check Flue gas temperature and combustion
  • Check all releif valves for leaks
  • Check water level
  • Check pilot and burner assemblies for buildup
  • Check boilers operating characteristics

Use a combustion analyzer to provide a comprehensive combustion and emission test on your boiler.

HVAC Tune-up

Make sure your heating and ventilation system is set to the right settings.

  • Check your air flow temperatures at discharge diffusers.
  • Check that your thermostats are calibrated.
  • Confirm with occupants if temperature is adequate.

Use a temperature logger and record temperature over several weeks to give you a baseline of how your system is heating or cooling.