Winter is Coming – HVAC

The extreme heat seems to be behind us. But while we’re enjoying the refreshing temperatures, smells, and the majesty of Ohio Valley hillsides as the leaves change color, we also need to be aware of what is around the corner and begin to prepare for it..

Winter brings chilling temperatures, as well as  blustery winds. Also environmental conditions like ice and snow that can make HVAC maintenance a hassle at best and treacherous at worst. It is much easier and more cost effective to have a trained and certified maintenance team come out when the weather is favorable. Not having them fight the elements.

Here are some things that we check and you might want to consider adding to your pre-winter maintenance task list.

It’s time for a little industrial fall cleanup.

Regularly changing your filters is the fastest and most cost effective maintenance you can do to keep air moving effectively through your HVAC unit.

In fact, we often say that filters should change every 3 months. But in reality, we have some clients that, based on their location or industry, need to have their filters changed every month.  Therefore this keeps the air moving. As well as keeping the dust and particles out of their industrial HVAC system.

Cleaned industrial condensers and evaporators are to ensure that dirt, leaves and other environmental elements are not blocking air flow. This is easily accomplished by removing the casings and hosing them down.

Industrial HVAC units should also have their flues (the duct or pipe that expels the gas and exhaust from your HVAC system) checked for blockages. It is not uncommon for birds, nests and insects to block the entrances over the spring and summer months. If the exhaust cannot be released, it can affect the efficiency of the system and eventually cause major damage.

Complete a HVAC systems check

Having a trained HVAC repair team examine your thermostat and control board. This will ensure that you are operating at your unit’s peak efficiency when you need them the most.

It’s not a bad idea to do these things more often throughout the year. But we think doing them in the spring and fall before your industrial HVAC system exposes itself to harsher temperatures is a must.

Likewise, your opened control unit HVAC unit’s belts’ checked and tightened at all times . We always keep a spare belt tucked inside the unit in case the current shows wear. By having the next belt ready to go, we can ensure that our client’s HVAC system is never out of commission because of a simple task like ordering a new belt.

Close the economizer to save

The economizer is a great thing in the summer. It uses air flow from outside to help keep temperatures down in industrial environments. By keeping the air moving, your HVAC system doesn’t need to work as hard to keep the air inside cool. This means less money spent and bigger profit.

However, in the winter, you are asking your industrial HVAC unit to do something very different. You are asking it to keep the air inside your building warmer than outside temperatures. If your economizer is open, you will be getting a constant stream of air.  This is below freezing point, coming through your HVAC system, and all of that cold air will need to heat to the temperature set on your thermostat. Close the economizer, and you are simply maintaining the temperature of the air. That is already contained in the building..

This simple step by a trained maintenance team can save your company hundreds.  If not thousands, of dollars over the course of an average winter in the Ohio Valley.

Do the little things that make a big difference

One of the things that our clients appreciate the most about working with Cattrell Companies is that we try to do the unexpected little things. That because we know that your facility maintenance isn’t about isolated systems. It’s about how everything works together.

When we’re up on a roof, we’ll often make sure that everything on that roof is ready for the winter as well. We clear debris out of drains. As well as check the roof for general disrepair. Therefore bringing potential problems to the attention of the owner or maintenance director.

If there are problems that are outside the scope of our HVAC team we are able to call in experts from the other Cattrell divisions. They can come and assess the problem. As well as we are able to work together to come up with a solution that is best for the client. Therefore saving them the pain of finding and working with another contractor. As well as the expense of having the work done in more unfavorable conditions.


We have a few gorgeous months before we’re dealing with extreme weather again, but it is far better to have someone out to do routine maintenance while the weather is cool and access to the HVAC unit is safe and clear. If you haven’t scheduled someone to come and take a look at your industrial HVAC system, now is the time. You’ll be happy you did. No one wants to be out on a roof in the middle of January dealing with an issue that could have been fixed on a beautiful, crisp day in October.

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