Is Your Dome Ready for Winter?

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Performing routine checks of your air-supported dome and air handling unit (AHU) is essential to keeping your dome operating at peak efficiency. With winter just around the corner, here is a quick checklist* to ensure your dome is functioning at its best:

  • Simulate a power failure to ensure your back-up system is working properly in the event of a real power outage.
  • Check the pressurization and temperature settings in your controller’s “Bad Weather Mode” menu to make sure it meets your unique needs.
  • Inspect the fabric membrane for any tears or other damage.
  • Inspect electrical panel and each door locking/opening mechanism – ensure proper alignment, operation, and sealing.
  • Check cables, cable grid, and anchor bolts to make sure they are tight.
  • Inspect your backup generator and ensure oil, filter and sparkplugs are up to par.
  • Check AHU for wear and tear of all moving parts.
  • Check AHU fan’s bearing collar, sheave, and wheel hub set screws, sheave cap screws, and bearing hold-down bolts for tightness.
  • Check AHU belts on the inflation fans (Note: if your fans are direct drive, they will not have belts).
    • Hand spin drive and listen to fan, and motor bearings.
    • Check V-belts for wear and tear, tension, and alignment.
    • Check proper belt tension.
  • On AHU, have an electrician inspect and snug all electrical connections. Inspect for signs of water damage such as corrosion. Check ground conductor and connection integrity.
  • Check AHU for fuel leaks: if you smell gas, immediately contact a qualified contractor or utility company.
  • Listen to AHU for any grinding, squealing, unusual rubbing, and scraping sounds.
  • Make sure AHU’s inflation fan and motor bearings are properly lubricated.
  • Change AHU’s air filters as needed.
  • Stay on top of snow removal, and if a big snow storm is coming, verify the dome is in bad weather mode.

PLEASE NOTE: Maintenance should be performed by a qualified technician.  All AHU cover plates, enclosures and guards must be in place at all times, except during maintenance and servicing. Always turn off power and fuel to the inflation/heating unit before performing maintenance and service work. If maintenance is done while the dome is installed and pressurized, verify that the back-up fan does engage to maintain building pressure.

Only qualified personnel with proper test equipment should adjust oil pressure, air damper settings, gas pressure regulation and fuel/air ratio settings on the AHU’s burner module.

The Operating & Maintenance Manual contains additional material from the suppliers we use for various unit components. Check the material in the manual or contact an HVAC professional for additional specifications and service recommendations. Contact Arizon Building Systems if you have any fabric, anchorage, or other dome questions. Contact your local HVAC service company for any AHU assistance.

*This is a basic, non-exhaustive checklist. You should refer to your manual and have an experienced HVAC professional check and service your AHU regularly.