Your church HVAC maintenance decision makers are no doubt aware of the importance of providing clean cool air for the congregation during the summer months.
Is this part of your role? If so, let’s take a look at your air conditioning system.
Questions to Ask
- What is the age of the system?
- Is it outdated and less efficient than today’s newer systems?
- Is the warranty still in effect?
- How well has it been maintained?
- How was it running at the end of last year’s hot season?
- Was is putting out less cool air?
- Was it making strange sounds?
- Were there fluctuations in output?
Much is Involved in Maintaining a Church HVAC System
Does your church rely on a general maintenance man to take care of the heating and cooling equipment? Generally speaking, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have an extra set of eyes on all of your church mechanical activity.
Going a step further by engaging a qualified HVAC contractor to do seasonal tune-ups can make a huge difference. This is especially true if you have a system that is failing. Something a well-meaning maintenance person may overlook.
At Abel we serve several churches in the western Twin Cities metro area by providing a scheduled maintenance program. Click here to See our Performance Programs. This is invaluable when it comes to preventing breakdowns in equipment and the loss of heat or cooling at the worst possible times.
Imagine the A/C failing during a worship service, a wedding, or a funeral, etc.! Think of the difference it would make if our technician discovered the problem ahead of time.
What can be Done Between Tune-Ups?
- Replace the air filters on a regular basis. The accumulated dirt, dust and debris in a filter can make your system fans work harder and reduce airflow. Plus, this causes over-heating of critical and expensive components such as heat exchangers and compressors.
- Check to be sure the evaporator and condenser coils on your heat pump, air-conditioner, or chiller are clean. Built up dirt will inhibit heat transfer. Save energy expense by keeping them clean.
- Get old valves and steam traps repaired. These can waste hundreds of dollars and are low-cost parts.
- Leaky ducts are one of the biggest contributors to cooling (and heating) loss in a building. Inspect these for leakage or damaged insulation.
When Considering a New System
Today’s new heating and cooling products have advanced significantly in design and efficiency. A new system may quickly pay for itself in energy savings. Here are more things to consider:
- What is the engineering design of the church structure?
- Consider a system design that won’t take away from the beauty of the architecture inside and out?
- Will major structural design changes weaken the integrity of the building?
- Where and how will ducting be installed if needed?
- Does the church funding permit an extensive installation?
- Is there a way to install cooling without creating noise during quiet worship and prayer sessions?
Don’t select over-sized equipment. This increases the cost of installation and the operation of the equipment. At Abel we are happy to make recommendations based on the size and architectural structure of your place of worship. There are sets of load calculations we can determine for your HVAC needs.
Compare prices by having Abel provide a quote and specifications for both standard-efficiency and high-efficiency HVAC units.
For areas such as the sanctuary space, and facilities with warehouses and garages, consider installing radiant heating. This method warms objects instead of the air, and requires less fuel. It is also useful for warming exterior areas, such as patios and waiting areas.
The air-conditioning at the local Grace Apostolic Church, consisted of two small window units. They were noisy and unable to handle the humidity on hot humid Minnesota summer days. To meet the needs of the 100 – 200 parishioners, we installed two Carrier horizontal 4 ton HP under-ceiling heat pump systems. They are completely duct free, quiet, energy efficient and inexpensive to operate. Now the congregation enjoys a noise-free, comfortable, worship service.
Another consideration with any building is how to handle seldom used areas. The question we often hear is:
When we hold an activity in one of the rooms, it’s costing us money to heat the entire building. How can we avoid this?”
Zoning systems can solve this problem. When preparing to use an area, such as in a meeting room, the zone setting will preheat it. It is comfortable when people arrive, and reset when they leave.
We recently completed installing air conditioning in a 170 year-old church building. (Below) Working with architectural engineers, we came up with a plan to use the existing oculus. This is the circular opening, or the apex of a dome. Now, air circulates through these for supply and return of the cooled air.
Ultimately, how cool, comfortable, and efficient is your place of worship? Cutting costs and adding to a healthier environment by keeping your air conditioning working optimally, or replacing it, is worth calling us for an evaluation. Phone 952-472-COOL (2665) or Contact Us