Heating Equipment Guidelines for Facility and Business Owners

As the U.S. is in the heart of winter and subzero temperatures are apparent, it is important to understand the standard operating procedures (SOP) for heating equipment in order to protect yourself, tenants, and your building.

Whether you are a facility manager or business owner, proper maintenance of boilers and electric heating systems is crucial during the winter season.

Heating Equipment Guidelines

The following 10 operating procedures for heating equipment include guidelines for both boilers and electric heating.


1. Inspect boilers for scale deposits. Scale reduces the efficiency of the boiler and can lead to overheating of the furnace, cracking of tube ends, tube fracture, possible explosion, and additional expenses for repair, downtime, and ensuring overtime.

2. Inspect the fireside of the furnace and tubes for deposits of soot, fly ash, and slag.

3. Adjust the air-to-fuel ratio as required to obtain clean-burning fire. Evidence of heavy sooting in short periods of time could be a signal that there is too much fuel and not enough air. If the gas outlet temperature rises above normal, it can mean that tubes need to be cleaned.

4. Inspect door gaskets. Replace gaskets if they do not provide a tight seal.

5. Keep a daily log of pressure, temperature, and other data obtained from instrumentation. This is the best method available to determine the need for tube and nozzle cleaning, pressure or linkage adjustments, and related measures.

Electric Heating

6. Keep heat transfer surfaces of all electric heating units clean and unobstructed.

7. Keep air movement in and out of the units unobstructed.

8. Inspect heating elements, controls, and, as applicable, fans on a periodic basis to ensure proper functioning.

9. Determine if electric heating equipment is operating at rated voltage as necessary.

10. Check controls for proper operation.

This article was adapted from BOMI International’s course Energy Management and Controls, part of the SMA® designation programs. More information regarding this course is available by calling 1.800.235.2664. Visit BOMI International’s website, www.bomi.org.


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