Healthcare energy-efficiency assessments have been important in improving the efficiency of the health care system. These assessments assess the potential of energy use, which improves the bottom line for hospitals and other health care facilities. Healthcare energy-efficiency assessments evaluate energy consumption over a long-term period. They take into account data on consumption, such as how much electricity does the facility use each month, and then compare that data to the average electricity consumption of its peers in the area.
Efficiency of healthcare facilities
The results of these assessments can play a big part in determining where to make cuts and what projects to increase in order to increase the efficiency of healthcare facilities after the spatial, call and space planning has been completed. Healthcare is a large sector, making it particularly difficult for organizations to cut costs and find efficiency improvements. When healthcare administrators get these assessments, they can start to implement changes and use the information to direct improvement efforts on the architecture services being offered.
One major aspect of these assessments is surveying patients and doctors about their personal habits. This helps the assessment team determine where there are areas for improvement, where there is room for improvement, and which areas need to be investigated further. Different types of energy-efficiency assessments include questions about lighting, HVAC, heating and cooling, and security. Each of these areas represents a large portion of a facility’s energy consumption.
Lighting is a very important area. When assessing a patient, keeping in mind the best structural design and development for the job is important. The administrator might also want to know if they ever feel uncomfortable because of the temperature. These factors play a large role in how efficient a building is. If too many people experience too much discomfort or unneeded pain because of the temperature of the room, the building may need to install better HVAC equipment or more efficient heating and cooling systems.
Another aspect of healthcare HVAC is how well the facility is insulated. Many buildings lose heat through windows, doors, walls, and ceilings. These buildings must be properly insulated in order to avoid excess energy consumption. If the measurements are not perfect, the building could be operating with too much insulation that lowers the temperature inside of the building. Improving the insulation of a room reduces heating and cooling costs.
A healthcare HVAC assessment can also include the measurement of the amount of heat flowing out of a building. It’s common for air conditioners to run constantly, but this creates too much conditioning that actually rises the energy bill. High humidity levels can also cause health problems for patients. There are several different ways to calculate the moisture in a room. Portable gauges are used on the floor to measure the moisture level. There are also infrared thermometers that can be affixed to walls or cabinets in order to measure the heat flowing out of the space.
One way that healthcare HVAC assessors assess buildings is by making use of a special handheld device. Known as a “heat bug detector,” it emits a continuous beam of infrared light. If it finds high concentrations of warmth, then it identifies areas of the room that may need to be heated. It may sound like a simple process, but there is a lot that goes into healthcare energy-efficiency assessments. It takes a team of professionals to implement the assessment properly and make the most of the reduction in costs to the employer.
Some of the different components that go into healthcare HVAC assessments include: measuring the amount of heat moving through the room and determining how much is lost; assessing the amount of moisture in the space; testing for electrical and electromagnetic properties; and testing for physical and chemical deterioration. As long as these tests are conducted on a regular basis, the assessment can provide excellent information about the effectiveness of the building’s HVAC system. It is important to have healthcare professionals perform these site evaluations in order to maintain good building performance. Improving performance can help reduce overall healthcare costs. These cost savings can ultimately be passed on to the employers.