In any healthcare environment, it’s crucial that every aspect is managed effectively for the benefit of patients, visitors and medical staff. The many duties needing to be carried out and regulated may not immediately spring to mind, but without the production of food, for example, patients wouldn’t be able to have the nutrients they need, just as a lack of proper cleaning and washing of bedding and facilities could lead to an increased spread of harmful germs and diseases.

Another key consideration for the management of hospitals is how they’re heated. By heating a hospital in the most efficient way, patients and visitors are comfortable and medical staff can do their jobs in optimum working conditions.

Hospitals are always open, so heating needs to be working continuously. If a healthcare facility doesn’t have suitable heating in place for any period of time, exposure to the cold could lead to certain conditions worsening, possibly impacting the health of patients. But how exactly does heating work within a hospital?

What does hospital heating run on?

Hospitals are heated using commercial boilers as they’re designed to distribute heat through a facility using multiple radiators and radiant heat systems. A domestic boiler simply wouldn’t be powerful enough to heat an area quickly or effectively, with some hospitals requiring multiple commercial boilers in a boiler room to provide sufficient heating across the premises.

How do hospital boilers work?

How to control heat in a hospital efficiently

Every component which plays a part in keeping a hospital functioning requires continuous operation. This includes the electricity, air conditioning, lighting and heating. Gas for heating accounts for a large percentage of the hospital’s overall consumption of energy, and with the necessity for 24-hour use and peak times potentially adding to the need for reliable heating, it’s crucial that a hospital boiler is reliable and effective to match the demand. However, gas consumption can be decreased by carrying out annual maintenance, improving the level of insulation if the building isn’t suitable and installing thermal insulation on the boiler itself.

Any commercial boiler must be efficient to suit the needs of the users, whether that’s members of staff in an office, pupils in a school or patients in a hospital.

To improve the efficiency of a commercial boiler, you could:

  • Share the demand and have a backup in place by using a group of boilers
  • Consider replacing storage vessels with plate heat exchangers
  • Prioritise efficiency and energy consumption over size and power
  • Install tools for controlling the usage and functions of the boiler.

Why is heating high in hospitals?

You may find that the heating in hospitals and other medical facilities is high. While this might make you feel uncomfortable either as a patient or a visitor, keeping healthcare settings warm is deliberate and there are several important reasons for this. For instance, hospitals are kept warm to comply with regulations and improve the experience of patients that are feeling cold as a side effect of their condition.

Heat is also a proven eliminator of germs and bacteria. Although this is typically done in temperatures as high as 40 degrees Celsius or above, many healthcare professionals feel that it’s worth having the heating higher in hospitals even if it only has a minor effect on eliminating harmful germs and bacteria, helping to stop the spread of disease and infection.