You asked so we delivered. Today we’re answering some of our most frequently asked questions from our customers related to getting started on school projects.
What are some things that I should investigate when starting a school project? There are many options to consider, but certain areas often present problems. Kele advises that you start by checking these areas and common issues:
- Outside air dampers
- Neglected maintenance on filters, belts, and condensate drainage.
- BAS controls being wrongly programmed/modified
- Occupancy changes and how it affects system controls
Why are these four things so prevalent in the industry? Typically, it’s due to a lack of maintenance or technician training. However, following the pandemic, new standards and recommendations may also require system adjustments. Let’s discuss each one!
- Sometimes on a particularly warm or cold day, untrained technicians or school employees will close outside air dampers to maintain a better temperature within the building. After doing this, the damper closure is often forgotten, which can then negatively impact the HVAC/BAS system(s) and lead to system damage and failure over time.
- Neglected maintenance is a common occurrence in schools that are underfunded. With costs cut, most schools make do with what they have and as the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Unfortunately, this can lead to much more expansive projects for you and more expenses on the school’s end. Regular maintenance keeps systems healthy and will help catch problems before they turn into costly lessons.
- Most controls are typically programmed to be exactly what the school building needs. However, needs are ever-changing—and therein lies the problem. Many times, controls and programming are changed and then never looked at again. Out-of-calibration systems eventually lead to excessive temperatures and humidity issues, which all lead to extensive and costly repairs. Continued system monitoring is essential to not only the health of a school but also the health of its system.
- Occupancy changes are a pain in the butt. (We know you’re thinking it too.) The number of students in any given area of the school is ever-changing. An area with an outside air supply is designed for a certain amount of people in said space. As occupancy fluctuates and shifts, so should the settings for the area. Once changed, however, they are normally forgotten about which can be dangerous if left unmonitored. With new needs and standards in place, this should be given “extra special” attention moving forward.
The three M’s of HVAC—monitoring, maintenance, and management—should be put into practice in every school to help mitigate negative impacts made by any of these common mistakes. So get ready to go back to school and educate on why the three M’s of HVAC are necessary and essential to everyday HVAC care! Call a Kele tech rep to discuss your challenges and troubleshoot or visit kele.com today and let us help prepare you so that you can ace your next school project.