Air Conditioning for Universities

By: Mel Joelle

As with any other establishment, universities require adequate and reliable air conditioning. The needs of a university, however, are especially imperative. Students frequently live in dormitories on campus and faculty spend countless hours on campus. Most universities have a variety of ongoing research projects constantly underway. Many of these experiments require precise quality control. Frequently, this means maintaining specific air temperatures. This is nearly impossible to establish without several high quality air conditioning units. Not only must these air conditioning units keep the temperature of the air in these buildings constantly regulated, but they must also maintain and regulate levels of humidity in the air. This is especially necessary for many of the biological and chemical experiments that frequently take place in university laboratories. If an air conditioning unit were to fail, many of the pending experiments could have to be started over or postponed. It is vitally essential to the ongoing work of any university research laboratory that air conditioning be reliable and consistent. Faculty and students have their research, reputations, and futures counting on their experiments being conducted properly. A large portion of whether or not the experiments will have accurate results rests on the reliability and consistency of the universitys air conditioning.

Air conditioning units are expensive pieces of equipment, but a series of air conditioning units powerful enough to regulate the air temperature for an entire university will cost a sizable amount of money. It generally costs less to perform proper maintenance for an existing air conditioning unit than it does to replace a faulty air conditioning unit due to lack of upkeep and maintenance. Many universities have a full time maintenance staff that is responsible for the maintenance of all of the universitys mechanical equipment, including the air conditioning. Several HVAC technicians along with a few supervisors generally provide the maintenance required for these units. The number of technicians that are necessary to have on staff will vary by university and will depend mostly upon the size of the university, the number of academic buildings, and the number of dormitories.

Occasionally, universities find that it is cost effective to outsource their air conditioning maintenance needs. When this occurs, universities will frequently hire an outside company to provide their air conditioning upkeep and maintenance. Most major metropolitan areas have several air conditioning maintenance companies to choose from. A quick search through the phone book or an internet search engine should yield a variety of favorable results. Shopping around for a quality company to provide upkeep and maintenance for a universitys is like shopping around for any other service. Questions about fees, services, and how quickly emergency issues will be responded to should be on the top of the list of questions. Other pertinent questions and concerns will likely vary by from university to university and will be specific to each universitys specific needs. Universities without research laboratories will have far different needs than those that have several laboratories with biological and chemical experiments.

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