District-Wide Boiler Solution in Southwest Ohio

“It’s a big task but our crew is solid,” said Nuss. “We handle preventative maintenance, service, troubleshooting, and upkeep of the energy management system and controls. We replace some equipment, like rooftop units and water heaters, but if one of the old boilers ages out, we subcontract. Boiler replacements simply keep us tied up too long to address them ourselves.”

Nuss is quick to point out that the Lakota HVAC department relies on assistance from the hydronic professionals at Weber-Huff, a Hamilton, OH-based rep firm. The company’s managing partner, John Noyen, helps specify boilers and other hydronic equipment based on the district’s needs, and Weber-Huff has several boiler specialists on staff that are quick to jump into the mechanical room if the need arises.

“Our relationship with Weber-Huff goes back as far as I can remember,” said Nuss. “John is a wealth of information, and Everett St. John and Joe Grove have been out a number of times as needed, providing maintenance and troubleshooting advice.”

“Last Christmas Eve, we had negative outdoor temperatures,” continued Nuss. “I received an alarm that one of our oldest boilers went down. By the time I got to the alarm—20 hours after the boiler shut off—the building was cold. Weber-Huff sent out a specialist and we worked side by side for a few hours to get the system running again. I don’t think John even billed us for that.”

Simple Repair and Maintenance

In 2011, Trane managed an energy efficiency upgrade for the district that included many of its buildings. Air-side equipment was added and changed, and more than a dozen boilers were replaced. Three different boiler brands were installed. This was Weber-Huff’s introduction to the school district because they represented Thermal Solutions’ boiler line. Noyen suggested the use of the Evolution boiler, a copper tube, medium-efficiency boiler that offered a field-repairable heat exchanger.

“Seven boilers from that big, original upgrade have since been replaced, but not a single Thermal Solutions boiler has been removed,” said Nuss. “Those all remain in service, along with a number of Bryan steam boilers that have been running since the 1990s.”

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