Essential HVAC Upkeep

By Pat Garibay and Lou Ronsivalli

Your school buildings, along with what’s inside them, are district assets. Most districts have maintenance programs to protect those assets.

But what about your building’s heating, ventilation, and cooling (HVAC) systems? Are they protected by your maintenance programs? HVAC systems are mostly invisible, of course, but everyone notices when they stop working. A facility that is comfortable in terms of temperature, humidity, air quality, noise level, and energy consumption plays a critical role in the ability of teachers and students to focus on instruction and learning.

We believe that using an asset management strategy with your HVAC systems can protect those heating and cooling systems and save money in the long run.

In 2005, U.S. school districts spent almost $3.9 billion on maintenance projects. HVAC upgrades accounted for more than 44 percent of all the elementary school projects and some 35 percent of all high school overhauls, according to a 2006 public trade report.

HVAC upgrades, which likely will remain in place for 20 to 25 years or more, are capital investments made within a district’s fixed asset management program.

For these reasons, districts should undertake a more strategic, asset management focus to new HVAC investments.

The following are some points to consider.  

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