After the lull of the holidays and the dreary winter months subside, there’s no better way to jumpstart the year than by rolling up your sleeves and digging into a spring cleaning project.
But where to start? The responsibilities of the modern facilities manager have evolved over the past decade with a new emphasis on digital systems and advanced controls. Freshening up your building isn’t as simple as cleaning the gutters and putting a fresh coat of paint on the walls.
To get started, focus on these areas to help your controls and overall facilities stay in tip-top shape this spring.
Make a Clean Sweep
Just like when cleaning at home, maintaining a well-oiled facility starts with the basics. Begin your spring cleaning efforts by checking systems for cleanliness and functionality. Whether your controls need fresh batteries, a wipe clean or full-on replacement, you’ll be better off by taking some time to review operations for the top down before trouble strikes. As you move through your building, make a checklist to remember which spots need further attention.
Verify Daylight Saving Time and Astronomic Settings
One of the major milestones of each year is the “spring forward” Daylight Saving Time (DST) change. It’s when many regions across the globe bump their clocks ahead an hour to take advantage extra sunlight during the spring and summer months. However, this shouldn’t be confused with astronomic settings.
To ensure your team stays on schedule, verify that your timer controls, astronomic controls and internal clocks are properly synced with one another. If you’re using a system that is more than 10 years old, this may require manual adjustments.
Think Through Schedules for the Year
If you manage an academic building or public facility, there is a good chance schedules will change from one term or season to the next. Use the start of spring as a time to look ahead to the remainder of the year and adjust systems to better accommodate occupants.
Will operating hours stay consistent in the coming months? Are there special holidays or events on the horizon? Is the current schedule optimized for everyone within your organization? By thinking through potential changes at the outset of the season, you can be sure facility needs are addressed before they become issues.
Seek Out Opportunities to “Go Green”
Do you have a faulty light switch that needs replacing? Is there a sprinkler or heating system that’s always been overlooked?
Use this time of year to review your building’s current lighting, H/VAC and energy use and look for ways to upgrade to the modern era. Simple but effective updates include adding sensors to limited-use areas, such as bathrooms and closets, installing photocontrols on exterior lights to increase efficiency, and putting timer controls on landscape lights to regulate usage. Going green can save money while improving your facility.
Check Up On HVAC Systems
In addition to maintaining timer controls and lighting systems, it’s smart to use the start of spring to make sure heating and cooling components are performing at their best. For example, cleaning the coils of your HVAC systems can help improve energy efficiency as well as improve air quality for occupants.
This can also be a good time to evaluate your organization’s refrigeration needs and potential cost savings opportunities. One common optimization is to install an adaptive defrost module on high-use freezers and refrigerators as a way to limit unnecessary defrost cycles and energy consumption.
By jumping into spring with a clean slate and a fresh attitude towards building maintenance, you can be sure you’re setting your team up to finish the year strong.