Providing comfort and reducing high energy costs.
What about areas of a building that are less frequently occupied? Buildings, such as churches and meeting halls, often face this problem. Running a large system when some spaces are vacant can be costly. Another challenge is keeping humidity under control. This calls for expert evaluations and technologies.
In the past, it became the job of an onsite manager, security, or maintenance personnel to physically go around and change thermostats. Often it cost man hours to ensure that an area was heated in time for an event. If not paying for man hours, it meant leaving a heating or cooling system operating while the rooms were not being occupied.
In recent years this problem has finally found a solution. Efforts are constantly being made by manufacturers, contractors and building owners to study and implement zoning solutions to increase comfort, while cutting energy costs.
Challenges faced by two of ABEL’s customers.
New Hope Church – formerly Crystal Evangelical Free Church.
The original church building was constructed in 1976 and was heated by two Tjernland gas furnaces operating at 400,000 BTUs. The building also housed a Tjernland 1 million BTU multizone unit. These units were operating at a 72% combustion efficiency as tested by the combustion analyzer.
The church administration requested proposals from four qualified firms. The ABEL approach involved removing the existing units piece by piece due to the building having been built around them. We then installed new modular designed air handlers that arrived in sections. The challenge was to disassemble each of these sections even further and assemble them in the appropriate existing mechanical rooms, and then complete the new units.
The new system offered remarkable energy efficiency and comfort, currently operating at over 90% AFUE efficiency. The cooling systems were also upgraded to modulating cooling and consist of two 25 Ton Carrier units and one 60 Ton Carrier unit. The modulating capacity of the new units now work perfectly to maintain the temperature and humidity whether the building is full or empty. The church cooling efficiency has increased approximately 40%.
Through computer-controlled economizers with the capability of bringing in cooler outside air, much cooling can be accomplished for free. Now the church is using mechanical equipment cooling 30% less than before. This amounts to a huge energy cost savings, and also in saving for maintenance and repair costs due to less run time on the equipment.
Another area of energy savings was accomplished with carbon dioxide sensors that enable fresh air from the outside to be monitored. This is one of the largest costs of a building as Code requires 15 CFM per person. The system is so sophisticated that it senses singing in the ministry center by the increased level in carbon dioxide and this allows more fresh air into the building. When the carbon dioxide level lowers, the fresh air also reduces (during non-free cooling weather).
For the New Hope Church, the new and improved equipment and system will pay for itself in energy savings and reduced repair costs in less than eight years. Think of this when you estimate the system’s life expectancy of 30 to 50 years of usage.
Needless to say, the administration of the church has been very pleased with the results they received from ABEL Heating & Cooling.
Zion Lutheran Church
This is a brick and limestone structure with a WWII steam boiler that operates at 50% AFUE. Our assignment was to cool the sanctuary, the gathering hall and the second floor classrooms. We subsequently installed two McQuay/Daikin modular central-station air handlers and Carrier heat pumps.
The sanctuary has a craftsman style ceiling that would not work well with ductwork. We used an innovative approach called a drum louver that we located high up in the back of the church. This pushed air about one hundred feet forward to the front of the church. The system also has four Carrier heat pumps that the church uses during the in-between fluctuating (shoulder) seasons of the year. This makes it so they don’t need to start and stop the built-in inefficient boiler multiple times during the autumn season. The heat pumps have maintained a comfortable temperature, even when it has been 20 degrees outside.
In planning ahead, the property committee and the new air handling equipment has hot water coils already installed for their future heating needs.
Schools, meeting halls, and other facilities.
Like churches, other facilities with intermittently used spaces – especially in very old buildings – face challenges in keeping up with new HVAC innovations and energy expenses. Overcoming these problems takes expertise and experience.
That’s why we at ABEL are here to help you solve issues you may be encountering now of in the foreseeable future.
For answers and more information, or to schedule an estimate or inspection, give us a call at 952-472-COOL (2665) or Contact Us.