Winter is almost here, and Modine encourages facilities managers to think about unit heater maintenance and inspection before it’s too late. Ensuring that the heating systems are at top capacity keeps them healthy and protects the capital investment they represent.
At Modine, we focus on designing high-efficiency unit heaters such as the Effinity® PTC. A single gas-fired Effinity® unit, operating at up-to-97% efficiency, offers more than $1,000 in energy savings each year. In a commercial facility employing multiple units, substantial savings can accrue rapidly.
To continue working efficiently, unit heaters need regular preventative maintenance. To avoid an untimely malfunction, a unit needs to be checked by a licensed technician at least once a year. A good maintenance plan will include general upkeep, regular inspections of the gas supply and gas controls, air movers, condensate removal and disposal systems, thermostats, belts, filters and electrical components.
Maintenance should include checking the fans, wiring, gas pipes and venting systems that might have been damaged during the last season. The manifold’s gas pressure and gas connections should also be checked. An inspection should cover the motor, to make sure it’s turning properly and that the power connections are in working order.
Thermostats need to be inspected and adjusted for the most accurate operation. It’s not unheard of that insects or rodents would have nested in a unit over the summer and fall, so make sure that the burner tubes and heat exchanger are clear. Venting systems should also be clear of obstructions. Finally, be sure to look for any signs of condensate leakage, which would appear as water stains or even rust.
With proper maintenance, gas-fired unit heaters can last for years. Setting a consistent maintenance and inspection schedule will pay off in reduced operating costs and a longer lifespan for the unit.