Facilities Operations Department: Heat and Air Conditioning
FACILITIES OPERATIONS DEPARTMENT
HEAT AND AIR CONDITIONING
Living in an area where it can snow in May and be 85
degrees in November, it is always a challenge to determine when to turn on the
heat and turn off the air conditioning. As a general rule, the Plant department
targets May 15 to switch from heat to air conditioning and October 15 to switch
from air conditioning to heat. However, due to the unpredictability of the
weather, the Facilities Operations monitors conditions and will adjust those dates to
suit the predicted conditions. During the switchover period, it is advisable to
dress appropriately and carry a sweater in the event that we experience cool
mornings and warmer afternoons.
In many buildings, air conditioning and heating systems
require approximately three days to switch over and a few more days to
stabilize. An outside air temperature above 75 degrees F. is needed to
calibrate many of the air-cooled condensing systems, and those are usually the
last ones to switch over.
Thermostats are calibrated on a routine basis by vendors
and/or Plant mechanics. During the air conditioning season, thermostats are set
at 72 degrees F. A fluctuation of 2 degrees F is to be expected. In the event
of extremely hot weather, most systems will provide a 15-degree F. differential
inside. During the heating season, thermostats are set at 70 degrees F. with an
expected variation of 2 degrees F.