As the climate worldwide continues to undergo unprecedented changes, heatwaves have become a recurring and concerning phenomenon across the United States. According to CNN, scientists from two global climate authorities reported that July was, “The planet’s hottest on record by far.” These prolonged periods of extreme heat not only test the endurance of people but also put significant strain on buildings and equipment.
Businesses, industries, and homeowners are facing unique challenges in managing their structures and machinery as temperatures soar to unparelled heights. In this blog post, we will explain how heatwaves impact building and equipment management plus essential strategies and solutions on how to navigate the effects of heatwaves.
What is a Heatwave?
Heatwaves, characterized by prolonged periods of scorching temperatures and hot conditions, create a significant impact on society, including a surge in fatalities due to heat-related causes. These episodes of extreme heat are the most perilous of natural calamities, according to the World Health Organization, and often go insufficiently acknowledged as their toll in terms of casualties and devastation isn’t always immediately apparent.
In some instances, heatwaves can extend to overburdening health and emergency services, while also placing added strain on critical resources such as water, energy, and transportation systems. This strain can manifest in the form of power shortages, and in some cases, lead to complete power outages. So how can you mitigate the effects of a heatwave on building and equipment management?
How Heatwave Impact Building and Equipment Management
During a heatwave in the summertime, the extreme heat and high temperatures can have significant negative effects on the maintenance of buildings and equipment. With that, some of the potential impacts include:
- Increased strain on cooling systems: Air conditioning systems and cooling equipment have to work harder and for longer periods during a heatwave. When this happens it can lead to higher energy consumption, increased wear and tear on the critical components of the equipment, and possible breakdowns or malfunctions causing the AC to have a system shutdown.
- Electrical system strain: High temperatures can cause an increased demand for electricity as people use more cooling devices and fans. This puts added stress on electrical systems, which can lead to electrical failures or fire hazards.
- Impact on sensitive equipment: Certain equipment, such as computers, servers, and electronics, may be sensitive to high temperatures. Excessive heat can cause these devices to overheat, leading to data loss or hardware damage.
- Increased need for maintenance: Heatwaves may exacerbate existing issues in buildings and equipment, leading to more frequent maintenance requirements. Facilities and equipment owners may need to schedule additional inspections and servicing to prevent failures.
- Fire risk: Extremely hot and dry conditions during a heatwave increase the risk of fires. Buildings and equipment located in fire-prone areas may require additional fire prevention measures and vigilance.
- Effects on occupants: The extreme heat can also impact the well-being and productivity of building occupants. High temperatures inside buildings can make it uncomfortable for people to work or live, potentially affecting their health and overall performance.
Navigating the Effects of Heatwaves
According to Climate ADAPT, implementing strategies can reduce the impact of heatwaves on both their structures and equipment. This results in not only protecting the building and equipment from damage but also creating a more comfortable indoor environment for occupants. To mitigate the effects of heatwaves owners, operators, and facility managers should take proactive measures, such as:
- Implementing a SaaS provider to schedule tasks for regular inspections and servicing cooling systems and equipment.
- Working with utility providers to perform building equipment tune-up activities such as ensuring proper insulation and ventilation to lower indoor temperatures, and routinely clean the systems for optimal functionality.
- Installing shades or reflective materials in windows to minimize heat absorption by building exteriors.
- Implementing energy-saving measures to reduce strain on electrical systems.
- Monitoring temperature sensitive equipment and providing adequate cooling or ventilation for them.
- Using heat-resistant materials for building construction and equipment, especially for those exposed to direct sunlight. Heat-resistant materials can withstand higher temperatures and minimize heat-induced damage.
Mitigate Risk and Increase Efficiency with HELIXintel
As the U.S. grapples with the escalating challenges of heatwaves, HELIXintel stands ready to be your trusted ally. We prioritize regular maintenance, efficient cooling systems, advanced insulation, and robust emergency response plans to guarantee the safety, functionality, and efficiency of your structures and equipment. Leveraging our deep understanding of sustainable practices, we’re committed to helping you adapt and thrive amidst climate change.
Visit helixintel.com to learn more about how our platform can ensure your assets are resilient against the heatwave challenges of the future.