Air conditioning has become such an integral part of modern life that we often forget how important it can be. A recent story from the Vatican though reminds us about the power of air conditioning. There, Vatican officials have recently revealed new lighting and air conditioning system upgrades in the Sistine Chapel where Michelangelo’s 16th century masterpiece frescos adorn the walls and ceiling.
While the new 7,000 LED lighting system will allow visitors to see Michalengelo’s masterpiece more clearly, the new air conditioning system will help protect the frescos from air pollution.
An Air System to Battle the Elements
That air pollution isn’t from the traffic outside the chapel, but the human traffic that travels within– an estimated six million people a year. In 2010, chapel officials noted that the frescoes were starting to whiten. It turned out that this whitening was a calcium carbonate buildup resulting from the carbon dioxide of visitors’ breath, combined with increased humidity in the chapel from all those bodies.
In such as small and confined space as the chapel, carbon dioxide, sweat, and dust are all threats to the Renaissance artwork that adorns the walls.
Old vs New Air Conditioner
The Vatican’s former air conditioning system was 20 year old and was installed at a time when there were less than 2 million visitors a year. In other words, it wasn’t able to keep up with the current demands for efficient and effective air conditioning.
The newly revealed air system uses data from 70 sensors in the chapel walls that measure temperature and humidity, along with TV cameras that monitor the number of visitors within the chapel. Data from the sensors and cameras allow the system to continually adjust the airflow, temperature and humidity within the chapel.
The new air conditioning system took three years to install.
Protecting Your Home With Proper A/C
Humidity and temperature control are pivotal in the world of art preservation; advanced HVAC systems make such preservation possible. While your home may not be the Sistine Chapel, maintaining a steady relative humidity is just as important. Air conditioners and heat pumps play an important part in humidity control here in hot and humid Houston.
Relative humidity of your home should stay below 50% to help keep away mold and mildew growth and to prevent warping and damage to woods in your home. And while we tend to think that bigger is better, an oversized air conditioner can cause unnecessarily high levels of humidity in the home.
That’s why it’s important to make sure you work with a quality HVAC contractor from the very beginning. At Richmond’s Air, we’re here to provide professional and reliable service, sales and repairs on your home in the Houston areas of Bellaire, Spring, and Katy.
Contact us to schedule an appointment today, or continue browsing our blog and Heat Beat knowledge center for more information…