HVAC works toward keeping Airmen cool and comfortable

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Arielle Vasquez
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
In a region where the climate is tropical yearlong, the 36th Civil Engineer Squadron's Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning Flight work around the clock to ensure the comfort of Airmen and the smooth operation of the HVAC systems.

With close to 3,500 units on base to monitor, the technicians are faced with a multitude of tasks and urgent and immediate issues which arise every day on the job.

HVAC's electronic equipment is at the mercy of the elements, due to being on an island where corrosion occurs at a much faster rate than normal, which makes it vital to have proper and timely maintenance of the equipment said Master Sgt. Donald McNair, 36th Civil Squadron Section Chief of HVAC Operations.

"Our focus is to keep all the air conditioning going throughout the base to ensure the mission doesn't fail," said McNair. We have a lot of units that are tied directly to how the mission succeeds. What is also huge for us is the quality of life for all the Airmen and their families."

Routine maintenance is conducted daily to ensure optimum productivity, on different units such as boilers, and the air conditioning units.

In all, there are 14 military members and 16 civilians at Andersen responsible for covering different parts of the base to include Northwest Field and Detachment 2.

"The crews change locations so that everyone gets familiar with different facilities and equipment," said San Nicolas, a civilian foreman with HVAC. In addition to the regular zone maintenance crews, we have people assigned to recurring maintenance which we do every day."

A system installed on base, the direct digital control system, controls and repairs units by means of a digital device or computer. This allows repair time for the HVAC flight to be cut down whenever there is a power outage, or any electrical issue. This updated system also serves to decrease the man hours expended on the repair of each individual unit by fixing the issue remotely with just a few clicks, using a computer.

Currently 31 facilities on base are managed by the direct digital control. The HVAC Flight has a goal to increase this number so that more facilities can be attended to at a faster and more efficient rate. For the other buildings on base without this updated system, the technicians ensure the productivity of the units by regularly inspecting them.

"We have too many systems on base," said McNair. "It would be difficult to physically check every one. Being able to use direct digital control definitely helps to cut down on man hours."

A major goal that the HVAC Flight works toward is energy conservation. Their aim is for the installation of more solar panels on buildings, which heats up water for use, said McNair. There are already a few buildings with this in place, and they would like to continue to work toward this project.

With much ground to cover and a variety of work orders on a daily basis, the technicians are fully aware of their responsibilities and are always ready to work on whatever task comes their way.

"We want to do everything we can to satisfy our customers' requirements," said McNair. "The mission and quality of life are our top priorities. We have a great group of guys who are highly motivated. When we hear a simple thank you from a customer, it goes a long way."