Andy Green, Technical Director at Baxi Heating, offers advice on how to protect the heating system through a building lockdown
As the UK lockdown continues, it’s important that building owners are vigilant about implementing preventative maintenance to protect heating systems in their empty buildings.
Heating engineers and facilities managers have a key role to play in ensuring that the heating system operates efficiently and safely once a property is reactivated.
Where a short-term building shutdown period is anticipated, our advice is to leave wet heating systems in operation at a reduced temperature, at around 14ºC. This will avoid the possibility of damp entering the building, reduce the risk of microbial contamination which can cause corrosion, and help building operators or facilities managers keep energy bills down.
Introducing a weekly low usage maintenance schedule will ensure that the system remains in top condition and avoid any risk of a legionella outbreak. We recommend implementing the following programme:
Long term closure
In the event of a long-term building closure, there is the option to drain down the heating and hot water service.
The system should be isolated completely, ensuring frost protection from the system to prevent freezing. The building will need to be decommissioned completely and ventilation run through the building to prevent the build-up of microbial contamination.
Reactivating a building
When reactivating a site, we advise implementing the following 24-hour maintenance regime prior to reopening the building:
Follow best practice
Ensuring good quality water and eliminating the risk of contamination through best practice maintenance programmes is the safest way to enable the system to be reactivated quickly when required. And as heating and hot water is a vital service, this in turn will allow buildings, and the businesses and organisations they house, to bounce back rapidly once we re-emerge from lockdown.