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This article is provided by Robert Long, general manager of Johnson Controls Rental Solutions, who has been with the company for four years. The company’s rental inventory of chillers is located in depots throughout North America.
The last thing you need on a scorching hot day is HVAC system failure. But, if you find yourself faced with a cooling emergency, you’ve got to act quickly to keep your facility fully operational and maintain a comfortable environment for occupants and visitors.
In the best case scenario, existing, redundant cooling systems could be brought online immediately, but back-up chillers can be difficult to fund. Spot coolers provide localized comfort cooling, yet may not be a practical consideration for more than a few rooms. By contrast, rental chillers can be a great recovery option and can often be brought online within 48 hours. So, in a cooling crisis, take a deep breath then take these five steps:
Assess the scope of the problem.
Determine which areas of your facility are affected by the chiller failure and prioritize them according to those most critical. Maintaining occupant comfort is important, of course, but be sure to consider your facility’s process cooling needs, too. Any evaluation must include the impact of cooling failure on areas such as data centers where ambient temperature must be maintained and downtime minimized.
Get expert help from a name you trust.
Reach out to an HVAC vendor that can offer expertise, availability and flexibility.
Expertise: Partner with an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) that has in-depth knowledge of temporary cooling equipment.
Availability: Don’t be delayed by long delivery times. Make sure you’re working with a company that has a large, easily available rental fleet.
Flexibility: Seek out a vendor that will customize a rental agreement to meet your specific needs, such as a rent-to-own program.
Turn lemons into lemonade.
Rental cooling provides access to the newest, most efficient, and reliable HVAC technologies. Take advantage of the opportunity to validate system requirements before making a commitment to purchase new equipment. In fact, in a “try before you buy” scenario, you may be able to rent the exact equipment slated for purchase. Plus, by taking advantage of the most efficient technology, renting can also offer energy savings opportunities.
Minimize future risk.
Once the recovery plan has been executed, do yourself a favor. Develop a cooling contingency plan built around temporary cooling options, such as rental chillers. By mapping out a plan in advance, you can avoid the panic and overtime costs often associated with the unplanned implementation of temporary cooling.
Maximize future savings.
A back-up plan that involves temporary cooling will deliver benefits throughout your facility’s life cycle. During peak or seasonal loads, for example, rental chillers allow you to conserve capital, instead of purchasing equipment which may be used only at certain times of the year, sitting idle when not in use. And, when taking a chiller offline for routine maintenance, temporary cooling allows operations to continue while those procedures are being performed.
By taking these five steps, you can keep your facility running efficiently, reliably and comfortably this summer – and all year!