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.
With tight budgets and a fluctuating demand for heating and hot water throughout the year, local authority premises such as schools, libraries and social housing, can save a significant amount of energy and money by considering hiring heating equipment.
While some local authorities install oversized heating systems to cope with peaks in demand throughout the year, others may have an older and unreliable heating system which is unable to cope.
However, there are efficient and affordable ways to tackle the problems.
Tips for avoiding heating & cooling disruption in schools
Contingency – being prepared
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 the industry recommended 18°to keep operating.
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.
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.
But it’s often just as important to have fully working boilers in place over the summer period.
Balancing the books
Hiring equipment means its associated costs can be kept off the balance sheet as the equipment doesn’t technically belong to the local authority.
This can go a long way to finding a fast solution, especially when budgets are tight.
Hiring equipment avoids capital expenditure which is an attractive option for businesses lacking the funds for large upfront costs of equipment.
What’s more, hire packages tend to cover the cost of maintenance and repairs (in most circumstances), ensuring money is saved and freed up to spend elsewhere.
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.
While boilers are still the traditional solution considered for heating application, and heat pumps were traditionally known for their residential applications, with rising energy costs and increasingly ambitious environmental goals heat pumps have become more and more recognised across other building applications.
They deliver the economic benefits from a most efficient use of energy while also providing a significant benefit towards emission reduction.
Heat pumps rely on one of the most energy-efficient methods of heating: the transfer of free thermal energy from outside to inside based on the difference in temperature between the two. What not everybody does though is looking at cooling and heating at once.
Chillers used for cooling, just by doing so generate waste heat that typically gets lost to atmosphere, this heat does not just have to be wasted and can be harnessed effectively.
Repurposing energy by integrating cooling and heating systems is an opportunity often overlooked.
If you hire a heat recovery chiller for your building, it will generate hot water as a by-product of the chilled water system.
Heating, cooling, heating while cooling, heating or cooling – choices can be make when it comes to satisfying practically any heating and cooling demands.
One of our recent projects at a public college campus in central Britain is a great example to picture potential savings from applying heat pump technology as a renewable alternative to traditional gas fired boilers.
This college, as part of the UK governments Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS), was awarded funds to carry out heat decarbonisation and energy efficiency measures in their three buildings.
As a result of this project, the existing gas-fired boilers were replaced with heat pump systems and new centralised plant and distribution pipework to provide buildings with low carbon heating and hot water.
Using the combination of air-to-water heat pumps and water-to-water heat pumps we are able to provide up to 80°C of leaving water temperature to fully replace existing gas boilers.
Looking at the Total Efficiency Ratio (TER) of the new system, the college has improved the efficiency by 400% versus the one that was installed previously.
The new system of air-source and water-source heat pumps in cascade configuration provide 600kW of Heating, generating the college annual savings of 790,000 kWh in energy consumption and 160 Tons in CO2 emissions.
Considerations for hire
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.
Partnering with an expert in the temperature control equipment hire will ensure the equipment 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, clean rooms 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.