VALPARAISO, IN — McGill Manufacturing, based here, had a problem that many companies whose plants were built 50 years ago face. Its steam heating system, which served both the manufacturing and office areas, was antiquated and in need of major repairs.

For one thing, the original boiler, installed when the 166,000-sq-ft building was constructed in 1952, still functioned but was underqualified for the job it faced every day of heating the entire building.

According to the Broadview, IL, division of Air Comfort Corporation, the company could have taken the easy way out and made repairs to the existing boiler, but they chose not to do this. Instead, McGill asked Air Comfort to come up with a design-build solution to replace the system.

Design considerations included reduction in operating expenses, maintenance, and repair costs. Other concerns included indoor air quality, the manufacturing processes, an automated temperature control system, and overall comfort. Air Comfort’s solution? To replace the 50-plus steam make-up air and unit heaters with six Rapid direct-fired make-up air units.

“To the company’s credit, they chose to buy a new system,” said Blaz Lucas, vice president and general manager of Air Comfort’s Indiana Division. “As a result, they are now able to ventilate the entire plant with fresh air year-round, as well as reap numerous other benefits.”

In addition, according to Lucas, with this system McGill receives a heating efficiency that is 20% to 40% better than any other heating system. “This is just one example of the new technologies that Air Comfort is providing to its customers.”

As a result of the satisfaction with the new system, McGill has already contracted with Air Comfort to purchase another Rapid air unit for the firm’s heat treatment area.

This report provides information for contractors living in the Midwest region of the United States. This includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin. If you have information from this region, please contact Paula Liegl at 248-244-6454; 248-362-0317 (fax); or (e-mail).

Publication date: 1/15/2001

Web date: 06/04/2001