Huntington Hospital chills out with new air-cooled AC

Going down: The new four-chiller system designed by Mineola's Lizardo Engineering Associates drops in on Huntington Hospital.

A Long Island hospital has replaced its older air-conditioning system with a network of air-cooled “chillers” – an energy-efficient upgrade expected to create big annual savings.

Huntington Hospital, part of the New Hyde Park-based Northwell Health system, announced Wednesday it has installed four 400-ton, large-capacity, air-cooled Carrier chillers, replacing the hospital’s traditional water-cooled environmental-control system.

The $4.7 million project – designed to “provide more efficient cooling to … patient care areas as well as be more cost-effective” – is projected to slash some $240,000 off the hospital’s annual energy bills, according to Northwell Health.

The four-chiller system, designed by Mineola-based Lizardo Engineering Associates, is installed on the roof of the hospital’s north wing and also mitigates a challenge familiar to many hospitals by eliminating the high risk of Legionella bacteria inherent to water-cooled chillers – a critical upgrade in a system providing climate control for 12 operating rooms stocked with advanced diagnostic and surgical equipment.

“Water-cooled systems require a great deal of maintenance to prevent the growth of Legionella bacteria,” Huntington Hospital Vice President of Operations Randy Howard Jr. said Wednesday. “This new cooling system represented an opportunity for us to provide safer care for our patients.

“We’re always looking at ways to make the hospital provide the best care for our patients and be more efficient,” Howard added.

Huntington Hospital is also in the early stages of a project involving the Town of Huntington and the Huntington YMCA, aimed at creating a “power microgrid” that would “provide another level of power redundancy to the hospital’s five emergency generators.” The project is currently in the final of three preliminary phases required to obtain state funding, according to Northwell Health.

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