Students are back in the classroom for the new school year, and although it’s only fall, schools are preparing for the upcoming winter season. The Dawn F. Barnes elementary school in Caswell just had heating pumps installed, and it’s the only school in Aroostook County to install them.
The Principal of the Dawn. F Barnes elementary school Krystina Davenport said, “The school board decided it would be the best way to save money in the long run and help with babying the boiler when it’s really cold.”
The principal says there were several malfunctions with the boiler system last winter, and the school doesn’t have the funds to install a whole new boiler system. A heat technician suggested the heat pumps would be a sufficient and financially sustainable option. Nine heat pumps have been installed in the school, and the principal expects that it will cut fuel costs in half this upcoming winter season.
The Principal of the Dawn. F Barnes elementary school Krystina Davenport said, “There’s one per classroom, one in the conference room and one in the main office, they’re all connected to 3 outdoor units that are installed on top of the roof.”
It would raise the electricity bill at $400 the most per month, but the principal estimates $15,000 is projected to be saved in fuel costs per winter season.
The Principal of the Dawn. F Barnes elementary school Krystina Davenport said, “Not only are they heating units but they’re also air conditioning units, we’re not in school a lot in the summer time but the secretary, the janitor, and myself come in on some pretty warm days and it would be nice to have the air conditioner as well.”
Around 32 hundred dollars is spent per year in fuel costs alone; and the use of the new heating pumps is expected to cut that cost in half. It cost about $31,000 to get the heat pumps installed in the school, and Davenport expects they will be paid off within 2 to 3 years with the savings in fuel oil as a result of using the supplementary form of heating.