Warmer Weather Complicates Campus Heating
LORAS COLLEGE – Warmer temperatures finally gave us our first glimpse of spring this past week. But as it usually goes with Iowa springs, temperatures are fluctuating as the week goes on. These higher temperatures are causing quite a few windows to be opened on campus in an effort to control the climate in buildings, both academic and residence halls. So the question is, how do these open windows affect the way campus is heated and how do maintenance crews decide when to shut the heat off completely?
While opening windows to cool down a room might seem like money going straight out the window, maintenance crews say it’s a necessity with the older buildings on the Loras campus. They say turning the boilers on and off is costly and puts a lot of wear and tear on the system. So the boilers stay on until the forecast is steadily warm and they know they won’t need to fire them back up.
John McDermott, Assistant Vice President of Physical Resources, says,”It’s hard to control. We do pay attention to the number of windows that are open. They start at the top and work their way down…and that’s unfortunate because there is some heat lost through those windows.”
Loras currently spends about $400,000 to heat over 1.1 million square feet of campus. The hope is to create a more efficient way to control the climate in older buildings in the future.
Until this change is made, McDermott says to simply be sensitive to your environment. “If it’s cold outside, keep your windows closed. If it’s getting too hot, let us know and we’d be happy to try to help you.”