Air Handler Optimization Program – WUSM Building Services

Excellence in Energy Conservation

In 2014 the WUSM Building Services team initiated an air handler optimization program in an effort to improve the efficiency of air handlers. The team discovered a more efficient way to change the drive belts that power the air handlers. In the past, the air handlers had standard V- belts that required a six month replacement for preventive maintenance. The new method utilized a drive belt system called Poly chain. These systems required new belts with matching pulleys.

After monitoring this air handler for a period of time, the team discovered that the new system was more efficient because these new belts have teeth, eliminating slippage. The data for the initial installation indicated a payback of about 1 ½ years in energy savings alone, after the cost of the installation of the equipment. In addition, the life expectancy of the new belts is typically three years, offering additional savings on materials and labor. Because of the demonstrated savings, Bob Gereaux and Carrol Joiner were the original leads on this project until Carrol retired in 2016. Since that time Cory Howard has been working with Bob on this project.