Why Upgrading Steam Boilers Is Vital In The Healthcare Industry

Thursday, October 26th, 2017

Hospitals have some of the highest energy use ratings for heat and mechanical operations in any industry. Hospitals and other healthcare facilities require 24-hour power to provide care, run operating rooms, operate sophisticated medical tools, and conduct normal business. Moreover, hospitals must maintain constant temperatures to ensure adequate care is delivered. Patients seeking assistance from a hospital are medically fragile and need consistent care, including steady heating or cooling.

These establishments need two kinds of energy: heat and mechanical. Heat energy provides hot water, heats the hospital, and provides steam production. Mechanical energy powers the lights, equipment, computers, and other technological tools. Typically, hospitals rely on steam boilers to provide both heat and mechanical energy.

Why are steam boilers preferred?

Steam boilers are the preferred choice for hospitals for a few reasons. First, they can be used to steam laundry, which is vital for hospitals that need to sanitize hundreds of bedsheets every day. Second, steam boilers are a native source of hot water, which is a critical component of many treatments. This equipment provides space heating throughout the facility, separating the hospital from reliance on the central grid. Finally, steam boilers provide a constant source of steam or hot water to sterilize instruments like surgical tools.

Efficient boilers are the future

The constant demand for steam boilers has resulted in a boom of efficient and cheaper systems. An entire subset-type of this equipment has even been developed designed specifically to meet the unique needs of hospitals. If your hospital has not yet acquired one of these industry-specific boilers, you may want to consider an upgrade.

Traditional hospital boilers and their attendant costs

Hospitals have driven a trend in boilers needing to provide cooling and heating elements. These establishments increasingly rely on cooling to provide care, which places extreme stress on outdated steam systems. These units were expensive and relied on conventional HVAC systems. Traditional HVAC is expensive to run and maintain and is energy intensive. To reduce these costs, hospitals are engaging in upgrades to modify their steam boilers to increase efficiency and reduce costs.

Healthcare alone is responsible for using about five percent of the entire commercial sector’s energy use. In fact, hospitals spend more than 8 billion dollars in energy costs a year. Additionally, about 50 percent of hospital steam boilers rely on natural gas to power their boilers. Hospitals can reduce costs by modifying or upgrading their boilers to be more efficient.

The life expectancy of a boiler

Hospital steam boilers can usually operate for 20 to 35 years, depending on maintenance, usage patterns, and stress levels. For example, a study conducted by energy industry experts found that more than 70 percent of active hospital boilers have been in service for more than 30 years. Although replacement is not needed often, this equipment can be expensive to purchase and install. Installation of a new boiler may even cause a hospital to have to shut down.

It is understandable that hospitals delay upgrading for as long as possible. Steam boilers are hardy pieces of equipment. Despite being in operation for over 30 years, many of these boilers continue to operate, albeit less efficiently. The near-unlimited budget hospitals assign to keep their boilers operating ensures that they keep working. However, the longer hospitals wait, the more expensive it becomes to operate their boilers, taking money that is better spent on staff and equipment.

Expert boiler maintenance services in Amarillo, Texas

If your hospital is experiencing issues with its boiler system or you need an inspection, hiring an experienced service company is vital. Allen’s Tri-State Mechanical Inc. in Amarillo, Texas is the oldest mechanical service company in the Texas Panhandle. We offer a variety of services including industrial, commercial, and residential. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you, give us a call at (806) 376-8345 or Contact Us by email. We are available 24 hours a day to meet your needs.