One of the largest consumers of energy in the United States is K-12 facilities and universities, currently spending more than $8 billion annually on energy costs. HVAC systems concentrate a majority of this energy use on campuses throughout the nation, ranked the second-highest operating expenditure after personnel.
Summer months continue to plague school campuses as HVAC (Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning) systems experience increased use, and energy bills tend to skyrocket. Unfortunately, due to budget constraints, this has lead many facilities to defer necessary HVAC maintenance in favor of paying those high energy bills. In almost every case, air quality has suffered.
Jonathan Cooper, writing for Facility Executive, compiled a report on the need for preventative maintenance on school campuses, noting air quality is often not taken into consideration when making budgetary decisions or especially when looking at ways to stay energy efficient during Summer surges. When maintaining an effective HVAC system, several factors should be reviewed, including humidity, energy recovery ventilation, the location of outdoor air intakes and exhaust, outdoor air quality, and air filtration.
Each of these factors is related to the quality of air streaming through the vents. That is because HVAC systems that are left unmaintained for longer than one year begin to propel air that can cause eye irritation, shortness of breath, headache, and fatigue. According to a 2014 survey conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics, the average main building on national campuses is 55 years old, 25 percent of campuses report having a building in need of extensive repair, and nearly half of all campus buildings have documented issues due to poor air quality.
As HVAC systems continue to deteriorate, more than energy efficiency and bottom lines suffer. Both student and staff productivity decline, health concerns rise, and outages cause some campuses to shut down classes due to severe heat. The solution to this increasingly common problem is preventative maintenance. Campus facilities are encouraged to partner with a reputable HVAC contractor in order to develop a preventative maintenance agreement that allows trained technicians to review an HVAC system bi-annually or quarterly to locate possible issues before they result in poor air quality or outages.
In some cases, campuses are finding they can take these measures one step further with predictive maintenance. Technology is now affordable and available that can provide real-time analysis of an HVAC system using vibration analysis. A skilled contractor can map out your HVAC system and implement sensors to determine the condition of each specific machine and track progressing stages of bearing failure, identify imbalance and mechanical wear, and correct misalignment and resonance.
Heat can make anybody a little cranky. It can also leave school campuses squirming both for comfort and dollars when HVAC systems no longer run as efficiently as they should or energy bills hit new highs. Emilygrene Corp. is a provider of both professional and skilled HVAC services. Our reputation as a staple in the green energy movement and as a licensed and credible asset to businesses and facilities nationwide has set us apart from the competition. We value honesty and transparency with our clients above all else.
We also encourage any campus facility manager currently without a preventative maintenance agreement to enhance their infrastructure with new technology and peace of mind that your HVAC system is cost-effective, predictable, and ensures students are given the best possible place to learn.
Emilygrene Corp. is available to help you with this process, whether you partner with us or not. Give us a call at 855-GO-EMILY or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: Facility Executive