Summer heat has blanketed most of the country in warm temperatures and higher humidity. If you’re one of the luckier people, perhaps you’ve escaped to cooler mountains or breezier seashores—or are making plans to do so in the next few weeks. But your church building isn’t going anywhere, and summer maintenance can’t take a vacation. Members and guests will be less likely to return to your church for worship if the air conditioning system isn’t working well. Is your HVAC system up to the challenge?
Church Building Maintenance
Mark Hall, our staff warranty coordinator, posted some great tips on preventive maintenance last year to keep your church building in tip-top shape. With summer heat all around us, we thought we’d give you a refresher on HVAC maintenance, along with some additional tips for keeping your church building comfortable in every season.
Checking on Your HVAC System
If you haven’t done so this year, it’s time to check all the belts and filters in your HVAC unit. We’ve suggested before that a maintenance log is a good idea, especially if maintenance of your church building is handled by a cadre of busy volunteers who might not always remember to tell each other what they’ve done.
The log should indicate what types of filters are being used (including part numbers, to make it easy to get the right filter the first time) and how often they have to be cleaned or replaced.
You will also want to check the condensate lines for cracks and leakage. Belts should be checked for cracks, and ducts should be checked for leakage, which wastes energy.
Outdoor condensing units should be cleaned as well, since dust and dirt can block airflow, making your entire system work harder and less efficiently. Also, don’t forget to calibrate your thermostats to make sure they are functioning correctly.
An Energy Audit Is Good Stewardship
Especially if you have made changes to your church building—or are considering an expansion or renovation—it’s a good idea to do an energy audit. Reviewing your church building’s HVAC system will help ensure it is large enough to handle the building you’re trying to cool.
If an HVAC unit is too small, it will work overtime, shortening the life of the system. On the other hand, if it’s too large, it can waste energy.
Clear Your Roof for Summer, Too
We’re used to thinking about the importance of clearing fall leaves off church roofs to prevent drains and downspouts from getting clogged with winter snow and ice, but clogging happens in summer, too, with the heavy summer downpours that can blow through.
While you’re up there, check to make sure you haven’t got any new cracks or gaps in the flashings. If you have a metal roof it’s time to check the fasteners on the flashings (see picture). Over time they can become lose or even back themselves out—It is also a good idea to inspect your roof after a major summer storm to catch any new problems before they become catastrophic.
More Resources for You
We hope you find these summer maintenance reminders helpful. We also hope that you’ll sign up—if you haven’t already—for our free i3 webinar series, where we share great ideas on church design and other tips for your church building. Simply visit our website to sign up.