December 1, 2023

6 ways to get your facility ready for the holidays

The holidays! It’s a time for family gatherings, gifts, and the time-honored tradition of eating too much, then watching football … or taking a nap.

For many industrial facilities, the holidays often bring lengthy shutdowns and (for most facilities) below-freezing outdoor temperatures. And some shops just choose to shut down so staff can spend more time with family. 

If your shop is closing, here are six important tips that will help maintain it from Halloween to Easter and beyond!

Closing the facility? Drain water from the tanks

Water from condensation and moisture can become a serious issue for outdoor tanks. When temperatures drop below freezing, excessive moisture will significantly damage the compressor tank. The tank should have a drain for maximum condensate collection. Some have automatic drains with a test button to ensure proper function. 

Removing moisture is important throughout the year, but it’s critical when temperatures drop below freezing. 

Winterize drain lines and bowls

Drain lines that are exposed to outdoor air need to be fully winterized to keep them from freezing. Heat trace tape is one of the best ways to keep the pipes warm throughout the winter months. Remember to keep power supplied to the heat trace tape so they can do their job all winter long. (This is especially important if you will be closing shop for the holidays. You may cut power in some areas but keep energy supplied to the tape!)

Adjust compressor louvers

Many air compressors have louvers on the cooling air inlet and compressor outlet. These louvers moderate the flow of air into and out of the unit. If freezing air comes into the compressor, it needs to reach operating temperature as soon as possible. Also, warm air leaving the compressor can be reused to keep the compressor running at ideal temperatures. 

While you can check and adjust as needed, it’s best to have automatic louvers that are controlled by temperature sensors. This ensures nearly instant adjustment of your system so the incoming air is utilized properly. 

Recirculate air

We discussed the air coming in, but what about the air going out? Air compressors produce warm air. In the summertime, this air is usually vented out, but in winter, facilities can recapture this warm air and use it to heat adjacent rooms (reducing energy costs) or maintain the compressor temperatures. 

Use ambient heaters

Compressors can be equipped with optional cabinet heaters to heat and maintain proper lubricant temperatures. If a cabinet heater is not an option, you can use an ambient heater, which keeps the lubricant in the right temperature range. This is especially important to prevent cold starts, which are hard on the system and can result in damage.

Have someone available for emergencies

Perhaps the most important part of your facility prep, you must have someone available at all times for emergency responses and repairs. As we have shown, many potential problems can occur when your facility is shut down. You must have someone who can respond to all issues during the holidays so you can avoid costly repairs. 

We can help! If you’re in South Carolina, eastern Michigan, or western Ohio, our team can check in for you or provide emergency repairs … even during a holiday (Christmas, Thanksgiving, the Superbowl, you name it).

Christopher Richmann
Author: Christopher Richmann
Kif Richmann is a professional writer and editor who has been creating content since 2011. With degrees in communication and journalism from The University of Iowa, Kif has been a full-time self-employed freelancer since 2014. Throughout his career, he has served numerous industries including manufacturing, real estate, technology, finance, healthcare, transportation, and education.
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