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Why summer is the best time for heating system maintenance

There’s a long-established practice adopted by facilities managers (FMs) working in various areas in carrying out planned and preventative maintenance (PPM) when on-site activities are at their lowest levels.

Perhaps the best example of this is the education sector, which typically plans PPM and major projects to be started at the close of term, with the summer break finding particular favour for the servicing of heating systems in preparation for falling temperatures during the autumn and early winter.

While this will be regarded as a ‘no brainer’ by FMs charged with maintaining the facilities of schools, colleges and universities around the UK, it’s less clear how well the message is understood by those working in other sectors.

Any interruption due to servicing shutdowns should therefore be minimal

Dennis Flower PfM Dennis Flower Editor of Premises & Facilities Management magazine

Annual shut down

Those involved with the PPM of manufacturing facilities may well have the benefit of a two-week, or longer, shut down for the annual servicing of production equipment.

This also includes the possibility of focusing on the factory’s heating system to avoid potential disruption in the heating season.

When the temperature drops, we can see an increase in issues that can emerge should systems develop problems caused by increased demand placing extra stress on components and causing them to fail or misfunction.

One of the aspects of heating systems to consider is that they are rarely required during the main summer months – something which has been seen by many during the hot weather of recent weeks – and any interruption due to servicing shutdowns should therefore be minimal, even if these actions impact temporarily on hot water supply.

Make hay while the sun shines

So, if it’s not convenient for these to be serviced at the same time as other PPM projects it should be a relatively simple task to arrange another time within the summer window.

No doubt we’ve all heard reports of the issues faced by numerous organisations during the last winter, due to harsh weather conditions placing extra stress and strain on heating systems and the last thing any organisation wants is unnecessary disruption to its daily activities.

It’s therefore worth considering whether summertime servicing of heating systems can provide a simple means of avoiding issues during the winter months, allowing FMs and their colleagues to concentrate on other matters.

Dennis Flower is editor of Premises & Facilities Management magazine