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Neuhaus, Edgar (2013) A critical look at the use of HVAC systems in the museum environment. Climate for Collections - Standards and Uncertainties. Postprints of the Munich Climate Conference 7 to 9 November 2012. pp. 117-126.

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Complex heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are often used in museums to optimise the indoor climate for preservation and visitors’ comfort. In practice these systems regularly do not function according to their design specifications. As a result the indoor climate for preservation can be even worse than if the system were not used. For example, high daily relative humidity fluctuations can occur due to malfunctioning equipment or faulty control strategies; furthermore unexpectedly high energy use can occur due to too strict climate boundaries being pursued and mistakes made during the design phase. The functioning of a HVAC system should therefore not be trusted blindly but some level of caution should be taken. Monitoring indoor climate conditions independently from the HVAC system is essential. Illustrated by various cases taken from Dutch practice, this paper tries to raise awareness among collection managers, curators, restorers and other museum professionals. The most frequently encountered problems with HVAC systems in the museum environment are described and general recommendations are given to avoid, detect and resolve these problems. This paper is not intended to discourage the use of complex HVAC systems since when designed, controlled and maintained properly, these systems can offer a great contribution to the preservation of cultural heritage.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Indoor climate, Relative humidity fluctuations, Ventilation, Complex heating, Air conditioning, Energy efficiency, Monitoring
Subjects: English > Climate Control
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Depositing User: Universitetsadjunkt Susanna Carlsten
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2013 11:05
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2017 12:24

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