How to Prepare Your Elevator for Winter

As the cold weather approaches, it’s time to prepare your elevator to handle the rigors of the upcoming season. Cold weather can have an effect on the functionality of your elevator system, so be sure to give it a thorough checkup this fall.

  1. Lubricate the Rails

Because dry winter air temps tend to interfere with the efficiency and function of an elevator, it’s important to ensure all rails are well-lubricated. This will keep friction between the rails and the elevator at bay as it travels between floors. The hydraulic oil you use should be at an optimal temperature of between 85 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

  1. Address Drafts

Because gusts of wind can impede proper operation of the doors, you should ensure there are no drafts or gaps in the area directly around your elevator, such as with lobby doors. Wind can also keep your doors from closing all the way. Why? The shaft acts like a chimney, so all that air causes resistance.

  1. Check Your Backup Battery

Winter snow, ice and wind storms can easily knock out power in your building. Without a backup battery system in place, your elevators will cease to operate, potentially trapping people inside. Make sure your backup battery system is charged and ready to go, and if you don’t have one yet, get one installed.

  1. Ensure Consistent Temperatures

By keeping your floors dry and your machine room temperature controlled, the elevator’s motors and controls will work best. Cold-weather fluctuations are one of the biggest challenges for elevator owners and can threaten safety and functionality. When temps are constantly shifting from hot to cold over and over again, condensation can occur and thus an electrical malfunction. By undergoing routine maintenance, you can identify those issues sooner. Inconsistent temperatures also make elevators work sluggishly or result in uneven leveling from floor to floor.

  1. Control Your Climate

Don’t have climate-controlled elevator cars? Keep them parked at climate-controlled floors when not in use. There are devices available that will automatically send a car to the floor of your choosing when the car is not picking up passengers. If your machine room is located in very cold areas, add extra layers of insulation for the tank and hoist-way, and ensure that you have adequate insulation.

  1. Be on the Lookout for Snow and Ice Buildup

Once winter does hit, always be checking for accumulations of water, ice and snow in your lobby landing and sills of your car doors. You want to ensure the safest entrance and exit from each elevator car for your passengers. A slip and fall can result in painful injuries, plus you can open yourself up to legal action.

Are you in need of a winter checkup or routine maintenance? Call Mowrey Elevator at (800) 441-4449 or send a repair request online. It’s a good idea to stay on top of these issues and be prepared before the winter packs a punch.