Students getting heated about heating


Recently, the Butler Facilities staff temporarily turned off the air conditioning in buildings around campus in preparation to switch from cooling to heating, causing a temperature increase in some of the buildings.

Richard Michal, executive director of facilities, said the Butler Facilities staff have begun preparing to switch systems from cooling to heating in preparation for colder weather ahead. Despite what students may believe, as of Oct. 9, heating is not on in buildings; rather, the air conditioning was just turned off for a few days. Michal said depending on the weather forecast, they will probably not drain the system and switch to heating for another few weeks.

Once the chillers are drained, the system will effectively be switched from cooling to heating until the temperature warms up again around May. Michal said there is typically a day or two lag with the switch before the heating is up and running.

Jazmine Bowens, sophomore psychology major, said, “You can put on layers very easily if you’re a little chilly, but you can only take so much clothes off.”

She said maybe there could be a poll in order to get student input as to whether or not the facilities should switch from heating to cooling or vice versa.

Michal said there is not a hard and fast date to change over from heating to cooling, but they have some “rules of thumb” and base their decision off upcoming weather forecasts..

Smith said that the discrepancy between the weather outside and inside causes “ski lodge syndrome.”

She said, “You suffer from ‘ski lodge syndrome,’ where it’s, ‘oh, it’s cold outside, I’m going to wear five pairs of pants,’ but then you go inside the ski lodge and you’re like, ‘oh, it’s cold outside, we’re going to make it 80 degrees.’”

Smith said she doesn’t know how to dress because the outside weather will be colder than the warm inside classes.

Michal said around this time of year every year, along with the springtime, they prepare themselves to make the switch from air conditioning to heating and vice versa.

“This time of year, it’s always a challenge because you’ve got so much seasonal variation in temperature and even within a day you’ve got variation,” Michal said. “Also, in some of these old buildings, the north side of the building could be freezing cold and the south side of the building, you’re burning up.”

He said as new buildings get constructed and old building get renovated, they are trying to put in more up-to-date systems.

“Believe me, we get the phone calls,” Michal said. “Our job is to make sure that you’ve got a safe and comfortable environment to learn and live in.”