The estimated cost of the job ahead is nearly two million dollars, for a HVAC overhaul in a county jail. This decision comes after problems were reported within the facility recently. Still far from the hot temperatures associated with the summer sun, several blocks of the jailhouse were experiencing temperatures in the eighties, while other blocks were more than ten degrees cooler. With legal stipulations in place, to ensure that prisoners are not subjected to inhumane conditions, the jail must not exceed eighty-five degrees indoor temperature. With so little room for error and even hotter seasonal temperatures coming soon, the Board of Commissioners were forced to approve an overhaul of the existing system, which was installed just five years ago.
This is an issue that can be faced by any commercial, industrial, or government building, when the installed systems do not meet the standards set out by the engineers, when equipment fails to operate properly. Because there wasn’t a proper evaluation of the system at the time of install, the officials are forced to ask themselves what went wrong. As it is, the jailhouse operators may be forced to temporary relocate prisoners, if the building experiences extreme conditions, and all because of a poorly performing HVAC system.
The building loads for cooling and heating need to be measured, and proper calculations performed in order to properly size the equipment. This also means that there is a need for field observations and data collection during heating and cooling events.
One tool that can be used to quickly assess areas and record temperatures is the hand held Optris LaserSight LS infrared thermometer. This tool can be used to measure space temperatures, throughout the building to quickly access and note the temperatures throughout the spaces and help understand the performance of the building and what is needed to properly heat and cool the spaces.