Silver Chips Online

Blair air-conditioning problems result of system activation times

Out-of-school department at root of issue

By Anshul Sood, Online Sports Editor
October 18, 2007
School air conditioning problems resulting in multiple teacher complaints have occurred because of the times when the Energy Management Unit (EMU) in Rockville activates and shuts down the system in the mornings and afternoons, according to Blair's business manager James Funk.
Air conditioning problems were especially bad in the science hallways. 
Gili Perl
Air conditioning problems were especially bad in the science hallways.

The EMU currently activates the air-conditioning every weekday morning at 6 a.m. and shuts it off at 5:30 p.m. and uses the Optimum Start Stop (OSS) system, which is constantly taking the temperature of the school at various times during the day. According to the EMU, the OSS can activate the air-conditioning up to three hours before the scheduled start time if the school's temperature is more than two degrees over the set point established for that school. The set point is the temperature the school should be at when the air-conditioning system is activated.

Funk says that the air conditioning problems at Blair exist because the EMU does not start the system early enough and shuts it down too early. "The school is not adequately cooled in the morning and heats back up in the evening," he said.

Every month, the EMU receives schedules from 170 to 175 Montgomery County schools that give that school's after-school activity times. They then use this information to determine the shut-off time for the air conditioning system. Schools also provide their own input as to the activation time for the air-conditioning.

Earlier this year, suggestions that the Heating and Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system was at the root of the problem surfaced, but Funk said that the problem had nothing to do with Blair's HVAC. "We have limited availability to control the air-conditioning in this building," he said. "The Energy Management Unit has their own policy for controlling cost versus comfort."

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/7835