Too hot? Too cold? While heating and cooling large or antique buildings like those on the Charles River Campus or large lab spaces like those on the Medical Campus is never an exact science, the HVAC Shop will do their best to get it right. The HVAC department is responsible for the maintenance of mechanical equipment related to heating and cooling, boilers, air compressors, and vacuum pumps. They perform weekly, monthly, and annual safety checks on equipment, and repair and install new machinery for more efficient temperature control. With 245 boiler rooms, 250 AC units, and several central plants, the HVAC department is always busy changing air filters, cleaning guns on boilers, replacing steam traps, and maintaining large HVAC units.
In addition to routine maintenance, HVAC is responsible for reducing the carbon footprint on campus. They are involved in pilot projects like the cooking oil project that diverted cooking oil and recycled it to fuel for the University’s central boiler plant. They’re also involved in large capital projects like the extension of the natural gas line that allows the central plant to run on natural gas, reducing CO2 emissions on campus by 3,800 metric tonnes annually. HVAC has also been heavily involved in mitigating the use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) on campus. CFCs are organic compounds containing carbon, chlorine, and fluorine, which contribute to ozone depletion.