A valuable lesson in reducing carbon footprints:

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School heating and cooling systems need to precisely follow the health and safety laws, as well as creating a comfortable and welcoming environment for all students. Too hot, and the students become lethargic and unwilling to learn, whereas too cold, the students will be slower to work, therefore schools need to concoct a balanced optimum temperature.

However leaving the boiler on in the winter and conditioning on in the summer is no cost-friendly system, therefore searching for a cost-efficient heating system providing the same heat output is a strong agenda.

Smithers Secondary School is removing their current heating systems, in order to replace them with new environmentally friendly, cost-efficient boilers.

The new boiler upgrades scheduled for Smithers Secondary School should go a long way in helping the school become more energy efficient with a substantial estimated savings of 60 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

The schools two existing boilers are said to be removed this summer, whilst the weather is warm, with three new boilers replacing them.

Two of these new boilers are to be condensing boilers, whilst the third is to a typical atmospheric boiler.

Due to the condensing boilers running at lower temperatures, the third boiler will kick in when the outdoor temperature suddenly drops. Altogether these three heating systems combined will provide the school with one unique, environmentally friendly heating system.

“That’s where your big savings come from, especially on your shoulder seasons like in fall and spring,” Hildebrandt explains. “We used to just have everything on high fire and always running on full temperature, these will ramp everything down just to meet the now demand.”

The Houston Secondary School boiler that was installed last summer already looks like it will save the school up to 40 per cent savings annually.

“Forty per cent is huge for us, that’s just been a wonderful project,” Hildebrandt said.

The Smithers Secondary School system is expected to generate annual savings of up to 35 per cent. Those savings should be even more in shoulder seasons, almost at 50 per cent, Hildebrandt continued.

The project was funded half by the province of B.C. and half by SD54, with a total cost of around $465,000.

The district chose to contribute a larger portion of their funds to do some additional work while in the boiler room. There were some further upgrades that were necessary, Hildebrandt said, and it’s much cheaper to do these when all the boilers have been taken out and starting fresh.

The Smithers Secondary School has taken a forward step to reducing carbon footprints, and is a good example to the students studying at their school. The condensing boiler will no doubt prove a success story for this school. Perhaps this is one valuable lesson that we can all learn from.

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