4 Things to Consider When Installing or Updating an Assisted Living Center's HVAC System

Construction & Contractors Blog

As you expand or renovate your your assisted living center, bear in mind the innovations that will make your heating and cooling system safer, greener, and more cost effective.

The comfort and safety of your residents is your primary concern.

Seniors and people with disabilities are healthier when their core body temperatures stay within normal ranges. It's very easy for old age or disease to negatively affect residents' physical abilities to fight off hyperthermia or hypothermia. For that reason alone, an HVAC system that offers zonal heat may be the best solution for your facility.

With a zonal approach to keeping rooms comfortable, you can focus warm or cool air to the specific areas where you need it most. Storage areas will stay cooler, while living areas remain toasty warm in winter. In summer, you can target air conditioning to your kitchen, laundry, and living areas, and save energy costs by reducing AC in rarely-used portions of the building.

Plan for extremes when renovating.

Storms, wildfires, and power outages may disrupt your heating and cooling systems. Have plans in place for backup sources of heating or cooling if you live in areas where extreme temperatures are the norm.

Designate one or two rooms as safe rooms and develop solar, wood-fired, or propane options to maintain proper air temperatures in those areas until power is restored. Never use space heaters or open flames in your personal care home. Do have a supply of warm blankets, hats, mittens, and socks on hand in case of any winter evacuation.

Greener technology means more energy savings.

Heating and cooling equipment manufacturers continue to develop high-efficiency furnaces and air conditioning systems. Installing a new geothermal system or heat pump not only provides climate control using less energy, but the savings are also passed on to you when fuel and power bills are due.

To be fully green, you must insulate your building and install doors, windows, and other features to increase energy efficiency throughout the facility, but these steps will help your new heating and cooling system work in top form.

Take into account all of the risks.

Remember to discuss with your specialist during cooling or heating installation how to safely use oxygen tanks and other specialty equipment around HVAC components. Imagine all of the ways residents might fall, slip, or become curious and tailor your rooms to keep them safe from hot surfaces or moving parts.

A smart HVAC control program that remotely sets room temperatures will also keep residents safe since there won't be the possibility of random unsupervised thermostat activity significantly raising or lowering room temperatures.


17 November 2015

Stop Mold in Its Tracks

Hi, I'm Carey Johnson. Mold can be more dangerous than you might realize. I learned that when my little girl started having asthma and allergy attacks inside the house. I couldn’t figure out what was causing it. We changed the filter in the air conditioner frequently, and we kept the house very clean. We couldn’t, however, figure out where the allergens were coming from. Finally, we discovered the mold that was growing on the floor of the attic – right above my daughter’s room! No wonder she was having breathing problems! Once we found it, we went right to work learning how to get rid of it for good. We ended up reconstructing the attic, and I learned that I enjoyed learning about construction.