Unless we experience extraordinary cold, our Heating Boilers will be taken off line for the summer. We expect annual preventative maintenance to be performed, after which our team will leave them idle until they are again needed in the fall.
As a rule, AC Service will remain available throughout the summer, when outdoor temps are in the upper 50s or warmer. Below about 58 degrees, the system will likely not be available. At those temperatures our chillers can “surge” and the lines can seize up and even freeze, which can cause serious damage.
We’ve received many inquiries from residents over the past several weeks, about why AC has not been available more often. Honestly, the biggest challenge has been the weather. The average outdoor temperature in May was about 55 degrees here along the lake, and that is right in that zone where we would just begin to consider switching heat off, let alone run the AC. Typically we will have the AC system prepped and ready to go in early Spring, as we did this year. (See prior posts below.) But there are other serious considerations besides that:
The weather this past Memorial Day weekend exemplified the challenge we face. Each day there were dramatic swings in temperature and conditions. On Monday alone we could have switched back and forth between heating and cooling 4 times. Sadly, that is just not physically possible. So we had to sit tight despite knowing some units were likely sweltering.
Stay tuned each season, for our postings (such as that below), which explain our expectations and guidance for heat and cooling switch-overs. As always, we appreciate everyone’s patience as we maneuver through the seasons and do our best to provide Heating or AC when the conditions call for it AND if we are physically able to.
Should the weather call for it, air conditioning will be available. As we bring cooling on line though, our team will be monitoring performance closely. If there are any problems with the Cooling Tower or Chillers, we are prepared to respond as quickly and smoothly as possible. Comfort of our residents is a priority.
While this season is the most difficult to balance between the need to provide heat, and the reality that the sunny side of the building can easily become uncomfortable, do not hesitate to let our staff know if you experience discomfort. We will do our best to adjust.
In fact we only have a few more things to do in order to get our cooling plant ready to start humming. The Board approved repairs to the main chillers, which are underway, and Maintenance reported that should be finished by April 20th. At that time, we should be able to switch as needed.
Given the time of year, heating is our priority, consistent with requirements of Chicago building codes. Once our system is ready though, we expect to have cooling available should the weather call for it. We expect by June, the heating plant will be taken out of service for seasonal maintenance, and the system will default to cooling for the duration of the summer.
As it stands with the present weather outlook, heating will need to remain available most days, though it may go off on warmer days. Once the AC is ready to go, cooling will come on when the sun is out at around 60 degrees and higher and heating when outdoor temps are in the mid to low 50s or colder. This range of temps is typically where we see the demand fluctuate this time of year. We have sensors throughout the interior and exterior of the building, including the hallways which usually give us a pretty good idea of temps in PT homes. So our staff will monitor those very closely should we need to switch manually or make adjustments.
Owner and resident feedback is always welcome and greatly appreciated. While it can be a challenge with how quickly the weather can change, and how quickly the water temperature in the pipes can transition, we realize full sun during the day turns half of the building into a green house. So we ask for your patience in such conditions. Nonetheless, feedback from residents can help trigger manual adjustments which can improve comfort.
While it will not be 100% comfortable for 100% of our residents, 100% of the time, resident comments and observations can help us make adjustments and improve conditions as much as possible. Shoot us an e-mail at Parktowercondo@draperandkramer.com, or call the office 773-769-3250.