From resolving boiler breakdowns to keeping lecture theatres cool in the summer, temperature control solutions play an essential role in the education sector. Maintaining a consistently comfortable temperature while keeping efficiency front of mind is key, whether it’s a rural primary school or a metropolitan university. Russ Baker, UK Sales Director of the hire division at ICS Cool Energy, talks through the short and long-term benefits of equipment hire for the education sector.
First and foremost, if disaster strikes, hire solutions are ideal for providing emergency cover in the event of a breakdown while a more permanent solution is on its way. For schools and universities, it is critical to ensure temperatures are kept above a certain level (18°C where there is a normal level of activity*) so that they can operate legally. If they find themselves without access to reliable heating, hot water, and cooling, action needs to be taken quickly to rectify the situation and avoid disruption to staff and pupils.
Hire options are perfect for these short-term situations, and ensure that schools and universities are provided with a necessary resource that can be paid for in manageable instalments, rather than in a bulk upfront payment.
Hire helps with planned maintenance
Although helping in the event of a breakdown is important, it is not the only use for hire solutions in this sector. A hire solution is ideal for back-up cover when planned maintenance is taking place. With term time deadlines often looming when replacements and repairs are taking place during holidays, real comfort can be taken in the knowledge that a heating solution can be put in place if the project isn’t completed on time.
It is often assumed that most hire projects are seasonal, with chillers demanded in the summer months and boilers required in winter. But it’s often just as important to have fully working boilers in place over the summer period.
Change equipment with the seasons
Although most students have gone, there is often some level of occupancy, so sanitary hot water and heating needs to be maintained. This is where the flexibility of hire comes in to its own as the equipment can be changed according to the needs, so a larger boiler would be needed in the winter but in the summer this can be swapped for a smaller model, providing additional equipment savings.
With energy efficiency as a key consideration for all education sites, facilities managers will often opt for hire solutions as part of an energy evaluation and sustainability programme. It means that financial risks can be minimised by testing out hire equipment first to evaluate performance and energy consumption, before committing to a major capital expenditure.
All hire equipment from ICS Cool Energy is energy efficient, offers low noise levels, and is installed in an environmentally-friendly way.
Financially, equipment hire is also ideal to keep premises running when securing approvals for capital purchases. This can often be a lengthy process, either because of bureaucracy, resources or because it has to wait until the next financial year. What’s more, as hire payments can be pre-agreed at set amounts they can easily be factored into the operational running costs, with minimal impacts on cashflow. This can be an important consideration, especially for the private sector.
Portable options – keep cool heads for exams
Finally, portable hire options such as coolers and heaters are ideal for exam seasons and graduation ceremonies where a comfortable temperature and low noise levels are essential, as well as when heating or cooling is only required for particular periods throughout the year.
With campuses consisting of leisure centres, libraries, lecture theatres and several halls of residence, universities require a huge amount of heating and cooling for a variety of applications. With many educational facilities also having data centres, cleanrooms and laboratories, the demand for accurate cooling and air conditioning is particularly sensitive in these areas.
One provider – easier service management
Each of these individual facilities can have different temperature control demands and are often managed or maintained by several different people. Having one equipment hire provider means the demands of each facility can be met by one point of contact to make supply, maintenance and servicing as simple as possible.
Without necessary heating and cooling solutions in place, a school or university will be closed, causing an incredible amount of disruption to pupils and staff. Hiring temperature control equipment is the perfect solution for the education sector, as cooling, heating, and hot water can be budgeted for without the need for capital costs and with the reassurance that the equipment is looked after, with servicing and maintenance included.