Thursday, October 27, 2016

Teetering Autumn weather can affect the comfort level

photo: Fernando Aguirre
Heating the campus isn't as straightforward as firing up the ol' high-efficiency furnace and adjusting the knob to 'toasty warm'.

In the fall, when outdoor air temperatures and associated humidity are all over the place, it's an immense challenging to hit target temperatures. This period of fluctuating weather and resulting indoor temperatures is known as 'shoulder season' for the district heating and cooling industry. It has been a bi-annual event  (once every Spring and Fall) at Western since boilers and chillers were installed in the power plant.

In the Fall months of October and November, a commitment by Facilities Management to provide heating can lead to warmer than normal building temps. And once that commitment is made and the cooling coils are empty, there is no turning back until the following Spring.

Mid-term exams are the main focus for the Division. For example, Club Weldon can be affected by an extended heat wave and volumes of students studying, making for a toasty building. During mid-term exams themselves, packed lecture halls and classrooms can become warmer than normal. Facilities Management works closely with building managers to provide the best studying and exam space.

With the advent of social media, Facilities Management (@westernuFM) is directly accessible by the campus community and fields questions and concerns about the - sometimes uncomfortable - shoulder seasons. Tweeters are encouraged to drop us a tweet and report on abnormal conditions.

For more information on the 'shoulder season', check out our standing story and related facts;

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