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School Keeps Computer Labs Cooler With Fans




Administrators at Lowcountry Tech Academy in Charleston, South Carolina, needed to better regulate temperatures in the school’s second-floor computer labs — both for the sake of student comfort and computer performance.

Sarah Earle, associate principal, said heat from the labs’ numerous machines warmed the rooms to intolerable levels. In summer, the air conditioners had difficulty keeping up with demand. In winter, the combination of the computers and the heating system made the rooms uncomfortably warm, especially on the side of the building where the sun shines in through large windows.

Since teachers had minimal control over thermostats, which are regulated by district personnel, the school sought to relieve overheated educators and students while providing the airflow required to keep the computers humming.

Several Haiku fans from Big Ass Fans were installed across many of the school’s computer labs. “With all the tech, a consistent temperature and airflow are really important,” says Earle.

Earle notes that the fans quietly, attractively and gently move air through the labs, negating overheating issues. The computer labs now feel 5 to 7 degrees cooler, says Earle. Additionally, the fans mix the air in the space, providing a uniform temperature closer to the actual thermostat setting.

"Not one time since the Big Ass Fans were installed have I heard a complaint about temperature," she says. "Before, it was constant." Earle says that the fans have worked so well, she’s lobbying to have them installed in the school’s first-floor labs as well.

Earle said the fans have made a big improvement to the learning environment. And because of the school’s focus, teachers were able to work into the curriculum the fans’ effect on air movement and temperature.

Learn more about ways to achieve thermal comfort in commercial spaces at http://www.facilitiesnet.com/16201BOM

This Quick Read was submitted by Naomi Millán, senior editor of Building Operating Management magazine, naomi.millan@tradepress.com.

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