HVAC plays a vital role in building management, whether it’s reducing carbon emissions, lowering energy costs, or improving occupants’ overall health and experience. In January 2022, the city of Phoenix undertook a project at the Phoenix Art Museum to restore lost efficiency, improve air quality, and lower overall building emission, all while preserving the priceless art.

The Phoenix Art Museum facility is maintained by the city. As a result, the building’s energy consumption and carbon emissions impact the city’s operating costs, as well as its goal to become carbon-neutral by the year 2050.

Air quality is incredibly important for preserving the museum’s collection of artwork and artifacts, which have very specific temperature and humidity requirements. In addition, the museum’s patrons have their own conditioned space needs as well as their presence impacting the building’s overall temperature and humidity conditions.

The city of Phoenix sought an energy-efficient HVAC solution that would restore Phoenix Art Museum’s lost efficiency and improve the indoor climate for the museum’s specialized environment while also contributing to the city’s energy conservation goals. Their energy-planning, facilities and sustainability teams engaged ECM Technologies to employ ThermaClear, its signature HVAC treatment solution, on the museum’s heating and cooling system.

ThermaClear can be used on all makes and models of major HVAC equipment types, ranging from 1-ton mini-splits to 2,000-ton, water-cooled chillers. The typical ThermaClear payback period ranges from 12 to 36 months and results in HVAC operational savings of 15 to 20% annually. One treatment is all that is needed for the life of the HVAC system.

Phoenix has a goal to become a carbon-neutral city by 2050. Since completion of the ThermaClear treatment, the museum has reduced its CO2 output and, consequently, the city’s overall greenhouse gas emissions. Phoenix Art Museum is continuously earning HVAC efficiency gains averaging 10.1%, resulting in reduced energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions. The one-time treatment with ThermaClear is also extending the Museum’s three water-cooled chillers equipment life that totals 1,050-tons of comfort cooling.

Since the treatment, emissions from the Phoenix Art Museum have gone down by over 542,900 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalents annually. This equates to taking 53 cars off the road for a year.