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Top tips for schools considering boiler hire

Russ Baker has some advice for schools undecided about boiler hire

Posted by Hannah Vickers | May 02, 2017 | Facilities management

By Russ Baker, UK Sales Director of the hire division at ICS Cool Energy

As the seasons change, educational facilities are often challenged with varying demand when it comes to their heating and hot water provision. What’s more, it’s not uncommon for old inefficient boilers to breakdown during colder months, meaning schools find themselves without a reliable heating and hot water supply to maintain comfortable ambient air conditions and keep the school open.

With tight budgets and a fluctuating demand for heating and hot water throughout the year, schools and educational facilities can save a significant amount of energy and money by considering hiring heating equipment. While some schools install oversized heating systems to cater for 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. 

Balancing the books

Finding the funds to upgrade inefficient heating systems whilst ensuring disruption to student’s learning and staff is kept to a minimum can be a real challenge for schools. But, hiring equipment means the associated costs can be kept off the balance sheet, as the equipment doesn’t technically belong to the school as a fixed asset. This can go a long way to finding a fast solution, especially when budgets are tight. Hiring equipment also avoids capital expenditure which is an attractive option for schools which often lack the large funds to pay for the equipment upfront. 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.

Planned maintenance

A hire solution is ideal for back-up cover when planned maintenance is taking place, such as in school holidays, and will provide peace of mind that normal operating conditions will be maintained while work is scheduled for existing equipment. Perhaps more importantly, if the summer holidays aren’t a viable option for a boiler replacement project, utilising a hire solution will ensure a school can stay open while remedial work takes place. Temperature conditions are maintained, minimising disruption to pupils and staff.

Contingency planning for emergency breakdown situations

You never know when an emergency may strike or what type of incident it may be. Being prepared is therefore very important and knowing the key contacts for hire solutions to meet heating and cooling needs should be an important component of a contingency plan. Schools should opt for one equipment hire provider to ensure the supply, maintenance and servicing of equipment is both simple and efficient.

Changes in demand

Whether it’s the changing of the seasons, fluctuating occupancy levels or additional demand for events such as hosting a sporting competition or exam season, the need for heating and hot water in school buildings changes throughout the year. A hire solution can be installed to boost an existing heating system to ensure that any increase in demand is met, and the equipment can then be removed when it is no longer required. This can be arranged on a planned or emergency basis, with the equipment sized depending on the individual need.

Sustainable solutions

Maintaining consistent conditions in both a cost and energy efficient way is fast becoming a key priority for local authority buildings such as schools, as well as any facility which is coming under pressure to meet strict energy efficiency targets. Hire equipment tends to be the most efficient technology available, especially when compared with pre-existing and sometimes outdated installations, and can be regularly maintained as part of service level agreements to ensure it is running at optimum performance.

With one contact for the supply and maintenance of temperature control, it is possible to source equipment that can cope with peaks in demand as well as the troughs. Whether on a planned or emergency basis, hire should be seriously considered by schools and other educational buildings. Hire equipment can help schools to provide a consistently comfortable environment for their students and staff, keep within tight budgets, and meet strict energy efficiency targets.

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