A set of round dials mounted on a monitoring box in a cramped maintenance room are supposed to measure air pressure through the pneumatic system in the Kenai Peninsula Borough’s administration building.
However, one or two were conspicuously twisted around to zero. Borough Maintenance Department Director Scott Griebel tapped on one, noting that it was probably broken, before opening up the box to show the pneumatic controls behind the building’s heating and cooling system. Pneumatic systems are largely outdated in heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems these days, like many of the pieces of equipment in the room.
Despite the cool September rain outside, the room is uncomfortably warm, courtesy of the two boilers dominating the space closest to the door. The two pieces of equipment date back to 1971, when the building was constructed. Over the years, they’ve been patched with different pieces of equipment to lengthen their lives, Griebel said. Various pieces that go bad within the system can be replaced over time, he said.