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ThermaClear: Keeping the culture cool at the Phoenix Art Museum

Photo of Phoenix Art Museum where ThermaClear is being used
A view of the Phoenix Art Museum in downtown Phoenix. (Photo Courtesy: Bill Timmerman/
ThermaClear HVAC helps secure artistic expression in right state of display
Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

In January 2022 ECM Technologies was engaged by the city of Phoenix to work with their energy-planning, facilities and sustainability teams to treat Phoenix Art Museum’s HVAC systems to restore lost efficiency, improve air quality and lower overall building emission — all while carefully preserving the priceless art.

The Phoenix Art Museum facility is maintained by the municipality of Phoenix.

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.

“Museums are built to house irreplaceable artwork and artifacts that have very specific temperature and humidity requirements for preservation. They are also intended to be visited by patrons, who have their own conditioned space needs as well as their presence impacting the building’s overall temperature and humidity conditions,” said ECM Technologies Chief Technology Officer Michael Daly, in a prepared statement.

“With ThermaClear, we have been able to restore lost efficiency and improve the indoor climate for the museum’s specialized environment while also contributing to the city’s energy conservation goals.”

Mr. Daly says the ThermaClear application is making a noticeable difference.

“Since treating the museum with our simple energy conservation measure last year, over 542,900 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalents are not being released annually by Phoenix Art Museum,” he said. “This equates to eliminating emissions of 53 cars being driven for an entire year.”

Upon completion of the ThermaClear treatment in 2022, 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.

ThermaClear HVAC helps secure artistic
expression in right state of display

“In 2016, the city of Phoenix established its 2050 goal of becoming a carbon neutral city and the use of innovative technology such as this will play a role in that effort,” said Public Works Energy Management Specialist Jim Gorombei.“The city performed several pilot demonstrations with ECM Technologies and was satisfied with the results, therefore contracted with the company to implement its ThermaClear treatment in various facilities.”

ECM Technologies has treated over 15,000 tons of HVAC equipment, servicing more than 4.5 million square feet of building conditioned space. All makes and models of major HVAC equipment types have been successfully treated, ranging from one-ton mini-splits to 2,000-ton, water-cooled chillers.

“The quality of our air at Phoenix Art Museum is extremely important for preserving the museum’s collection of artwork, held in the public trust, as well as enhancing the overall guest experience,” said Jeremy Mikolajczak, the museum’s Sybil Harrington director and CEO. “Not only does ThermaClear ensure our HVAC equipment runs at top quality at a reasonable cost, but I am also thrilled to share that a single treatment has been able to make a positive impact in the museum’s ability to reduce our CO2 output and, consequently, our greenhouse gas emissions.”

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