To Restore or Replace: Fairfield Medical Center’s Air Handler Replacement Project
In the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare regulations, rising costs, and aging infrastructure, healthcare facilities often struggle to maintain optimal patient care within budget constraints. Fairfield Medical Center (FMC), a prominent 220-bed acute care hospital in Southeastern and Central Ohio, recently faced this dilemma with its aging air handling unit (AHU) serving critical cath labs. Partnering with Limbach, a trusted mechanical facility partner, FMC sought a solution that balanced budget limitations while minimizing downtime.
Addressing Aging HVAC Challenges
FMC’s existing HVAC system, crucial for cath lab operations, was aging and struggling to maintain necessary airflow and humidity control. Replacing the air handler was too expensive, and reducing downtime was crucial. This predicament is no stranger to facility managers navigating the delicate balance between system enhancement and fiscal responsibility.
A Customized Approach by Limbach’s Collaborative Services
Limbach’s response to FMC’s challenge involved a collaborative effort across their in-house teams—Limbach Collaborative Services, operations, and field experts. The solution didn’t necessitate a total system replacement but involved strategic upgrades. The team upgraded the existing supply and return fans with two new fan arrays, improving airflow and ensuring essential redundancy for uninterrupted medical services.
A larger chilled water coil and necessary final coil connections and pumps were installed to address humidity control issues. This addition effectively reduced relative humidity in the discharge air from AHU-11, ensuring compliance with stringent air change requirements even under sub-optimal external conditions.
These improvements were implemented within a meticulously managed four-day schedule, minimizing disruptions to hospital operations. The outcome was improved airflow and humidity control in FMC’s cath labs—achieving the desired results within budget constraints and without unnecessary system downtime.
Praise from FMC
Andy Raver, Plant Engineering Supervisor at FMC, commended Limbach for their adaptability and innovative solutions, stating, “Limbach was able to provide a designed solution that improved our airflow and humidity control out of our air handling unit 11. We truly appreciate your team’s ability to adjust to challenges in the field, provide innovative solutions, and help us all be successful with this project.”
Beyond Replacement: Limbach’s Alternative Solutions for Aging HVAC Equipment
At Limbach, we believe in the power of innovative thinking and problem-solving. We recognize that not all aging HVAC equipment needs total replacement. Strategic retrofits and replacements can often breathe new life into existing systems, extending their operational lifespan while saving money and energy.
We offer a range of alternative solutions for aging HVAC equipment, including:
Don’t let noisy fans or performance degradation disrupt your HVAC system. Opt for a cost-effective fan retrofit instead of a costly air handler fan replacement. Upgrade fans or introduce fan arrays to boost energy efficiency—eliminating the need for frequent motor and belt maintenance.
Drain Pan & Panel Replacements
Combat the effects of time on condensate drain pans, air handler panels, and floors. Our skilled technicians can precisely patch deteriorating areas using new sheet metal or stainless steel. Panel replacements and protective coatings prevent rust formation, leaks, and standing water—ensuring optimal functionality without a complete unit replacement.
Extend the lifespan of your HVAC equipment and enhance overall system efficiency by upgrading control systems. Following a thorough evaluation of your existing system and network, our team can replace outdated control dampers, operators, and control valves. Enjoy improved control, scheduling capabilities, and real-time system performance tracking and monitoring.
Filter Rack Replacements
Simplify filter changes and boost efficiency with a modern filter rack system. Our prefabricated and expertly installed rack ensures easy maintenance for your team, keeping your HVAC system running smoothly.
Critical to HVAC performance, coils require proper maintenance to prevent erosion, dust, and dirt buildup. Our coil replacement services and UV Light installation guarantee clean, debris-free coils and drain pans. Additionally, consider Bipolar Ionization for enhanced indoor air quality.
The successful replacement of FMC’s air handling unit is just one example of Limbach’s innovative solutions for healthcare and mission-critical environments. Whether it’s a complete system overhaul or minor upgrades, Limbach is a reliable provider of effective facility solutions. Contact us today to get started, and click here to read more about this project!