Firefighters Run Ragged By Poorly Maintained HVAC Systems

Firefighters Run Ragged By Poorly Maintained HVAC Systems

There has been such immense improvement in HVAC systems over recent years, and even more over the past several decades.  This makes it possible for people to work- and live in comfortable settings year round.  However, these systems are not magical.  They do require maintenance and repair to continue operating properly.

As the temperatures have risen around the country, firefighters have had to report to HVAC-related calls for fire and smoke. However, when the problem exists in the firehouse, even the less eventful nights can provide very little sleep.

One fire station is currently addressing concerns related to this topic.  The firemen who stay in the facility overnight, on call, in case of emergency, are being forced from the building in the middle of the night, when temperatures climb so high as to make the space unbearable.

In this case, it may be a problem of improper controls settings, instead of poor maintenance.  Many buildings like this have HVAC systems set up to provide maximum cooling during the day, but then to shut down overnight.  The concept is simple – most buildings like this are occupied during the day, but empty at night.  So, there is no point in paying for cooling round the clock.  For the firemen, though, this is an issue.  The firehouse is occupied at night, and will need cooling throughout the darkest hours to keep these men and women comfortable as they sleep.

The good news is, though, that controls and sensors can be used to moderate the amount of energy used to cool during the day and night.  During the hottest periods of the day, the system may have to operate at full capacity, but at night, when outdoor temperatures cool, the system can slow, thereby reducing energy consumption, but also keeping the firefighters comfortable.

SRP Controls offers a wide variety of controls solutions like programmable thermostats, duct mounted temperature sensors, and outdoor air temperature sensors that can be easily integrated to existing systems to provide better control of HVAC systems.