Good morning and happy Friday to all at JK!
Seems as if there have been a ton of updates and communications broadcasted this week, so I will make this a short one for Friday with a great hope you all enjoy the holiday weekend!
The weather has been just weird… I cant remember a May that saw 90 degrees earlier and then low 40’s (this morning) the last week of the month – this is not even close to average temperatures. When weather patterns shift like this it can wreak havoc on our personal comfort levels, and it has for many at JK.
Two things we have to keep in mind and face the reality of our association’s mechanical make-up…
The first is that we are a 2-Pipe HVAC System; that means we can have heat or we can have cooling, but never both at the same time. The reason for this can be found in its name. 2-Pipe refers to the output pipe that carries hot or cold water from the boiler or chiller to your unit and then the return pipe which recirculates that water back to the heating or cooling point in the building. This is typical and common for properties built around the time we were. The alternative would be a 4-Pipe system which would allow for both boiler and chiller to run 24/7/365; unfortunately, given our physical make-up, it is not possible to convert our association.
The second point, given the above information, is that during these “gap periods” where we are converting from heating to cooling and then cooling to heating are challenging to say the least; we have certain ordinances set by the City of Chicago that need to be met, we have actual temperatures and forecasting which play a role, and then we have the physical aspect of actually converting (shutting off the boiler, flushing the system and starting the chiller – vice-versa in the fall) which must occur but within standards set by the equipment manufacturers and industry standards.
What does all this mumbo-jumbo mean to you, the resident that is either too hot or too cold? Great question and simply put, there is no “one size fits all” solution. This morning, the temperatures at the lakefront dipped down to 40 degrees F; at those low temperatures, the chiller automatically shuts down to protect the equipment from becoming damaged… its like the set point on your refrigerator – when it reached the desired internal temperature, the compressor turns off not only to save electricity and create longevity from an early burn-out by working constantly. it turns off to stop the equipment from malfunction due to excessive cold… remember, the main job of refrigeration is to make something colder than the surrounding air.
In summary, the system is working as intended. We will have people (today, as it was yesterday) calling to say that we need to turn the air on, and there will no doubt be calls for turning the boilers back on – I sincerely wish that we could make everyone comfortable all day/all night, but it is just not possible. The sooner we get to consistency with Mother Nature’s seasons, the sooner we will all be able to feel comfort in our homes. We sincerely appreciate your patience throughout the rollercoaster temp-ride and hope to see the regularity soon.
*Side Note – the hallways are on a completely different mechanical system that looks nothing like the info above… I’ll save those details for another day.
Memorial Day, once called “Decoration Day”, is a federal holiday in the United States for honoring and mourning the military personnel who have died in the performance of their military duties while serving in the United States Armed Forces. For more history on how this holiday came to be, click the link. You may be wondering about the picture that prefaced this post – In 1915, inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields,” Moina Michael replied with her own poem:
We cherish too, the Poppy red That grows on fields where valor led, It seems to signal to the skies That blood of heroes never dies.
So as we embark on our three-day unofficial summer kick-off, please give a kind thought for those that sacrificed their lives for our country.