Bryan, Ohio, has been widely recognized as one of the 100 best small towns in America. Situated in the Northwest corner of Ohio, in the heart of the industrial Midwest, Bryan is a place where people’s faith in what matters most is modeled daily. Family, community, religion, and education — these are the institutions that Bryan residents like Herbert and Agnes Kerr continually value and embrace.

St. Patrick School is a place where children learn about their community and their world.

These principles are what forever linked the Kerrs with the children of St. Patrick School. In 2005, Father Charles F. Ritter was contacted with news that the Kerrs had made a significant financial donation to St. Patrick Church and School. Eighty-five percent of their contribution, $330,000, was to be used to further provide for the educational needs of the students.

The Kerrs’ contribution couldn’t have come at a better time, as St. Patrick School leaders realized the time had come for a new heating system. The current system, which was over 40 years old, was beginning to fail after systematic malfunctions in recent years. “This became the perfect time to replace the old system, which was hugely inefficient — both in terms of operating cost and quality of consistent heating,” said Ritter. “We also wanted to provide cooling if at all possible.”

That’s when St. Patrick School turned to Glen Bowen, of Stark’s Plumbing and Heating, the local Bard dealer. “In 2007, St. Patrick School asked us to come up with an independent design for redoing the school’s HVAC system,” said Bowen. “It was difficult because we were dealing with vintage 1960s equipment and we found we couldn’t come through the roof or floor due to issues related to the original design and construction.”

That’s when Stark’s Plumbing and Heating decided to utilize the wall-mounted design of Bard’s 3-ton Quiet Climate 2 unit.

“Our company specializes in energy efficiency and alternative energy sources, such as geothermal and high-efficiency air-to-air heat pumps, so we were excited to use the Quiet Climate 2 in St. Patrick School,” said Bowen.

Utilizing the Quiet Climate 2, Stark’s was able to provide each room and teacher with individual control over their room’s temperature.

“This added to the efficiency in a couple ways,” said Bowen. “First, it allowed for better and more even temperature control throughout each classroom. Second, if one unit were to go down it wouldn’t mean the whole system was down. Plus, if certain rooms weren’t being used, those units could be turned off or on as needed.”

Stark’s became even more impressed when they learned of the Quiet Climate 2’s low ambient noise operating capabilities, as well as its overall energy efficiency.

The specially engineered ventilation technology meets and exceeds ventilation requirements at an even lower operating sound level. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) recently tested the Quiet Climate 2 unit as an Improved Heat Pump Air Conditioning (IHPAC) system and acknowledged it as an outstanding unit to include inside a classroom setting. The Quiet Climate 2, along with other test models, lowered concentrations of volatile organic compounds and aldehydes an average of 57 percent in comparison to a group of 10 SEER classroom heat pumps included in the study.

LBNL scientists noted that increased volume of outside air supplied to classrooms from the studied IHPAC units did not lead to higher particle levels indoors. This suggests that the 2-inch pleated filters used in the IHPAC units provided additional particle removal benefits.

“I’ve been in the business for 15 years and I’m not easily impressed, but when I walked into these classrooms I can’t tell you how excited I was — the units were extremely quiet and the rooms were very comfortable,” said Bowen. “Thanks to Bard, the whole project played out perfectly.”

Lisa Cinadr, principal, St. Patrick School was ecstatic with the results. “With the Bard units in place, our teachers and students never have to worry about room temperature interfering with classroom learning,” she said. “They also give us the flexibility to turn on or off any number of rooms we choose — such as on the weekends, during the summer months, or when we’re hosting a conference and only use a few rooms.”

Publication date: 8/13/2012