May 27, 2005

Curious George Is it that hard to make heating and air conditioning work in buildings????

OK, right now it's 68 degrees out and I'm in this computer lab freezing my ass off. I've had jobs where parts of a building were allways hot and other parts were always freezing cold. WTF??? They have been heating buildings ever since they invented buildings and cooling them off with air conditioning for a long time now, you would think they would have this figured out by now. Besides just being cheap astards when they build the building, is there any legitimate reason why it is so damn hard to keep a building at a decent temperature???

  • "No cold air = No hard nipples Building supers Love to see Girls smuggling raisins" Knowing is half the battle.
  • Computer labs are kept cold so that the computers don't explode
  • That is true, but none of the other computer labs on campus are this cold. Besides these are macs! They are 'splode free!!!
  • In my experience, people's perception of temperature varies widely. My wife can't stand it when I put the fucking fan on, and it's the middle of summer in bloody Australia. Meanwhile, I seem to feel hot all the fucking time. In a business situation, it's who's in charge that is the key. Some people are allergic to the shit that the aircon spews out and their throats/eyes dry up, they whine to the boss, yada yada. No one will agree on the right temperature. & I don't really think aircon units work all that marvellously either. They tend to break down a lot.
  • It's the lights that don't work in our hi-tech brand new building ... someone called the maintenance poeple a few weeks back who explained that they were automatic and wouldn't come on if it was light outside ... despite the fact that it was cloudy and we could barely see. Today it's a bright sunny day and suddenly the lights come on really brightly ...
  • A lot of it also depends on how the building's HVAC is set up. If each floor has just one thermostat controlling all the rooms, for instance, you can really get fucked if someone decides to block a vent or open a window in another room. The dorms I used to live in were like that -- somebody would get a little chilly and block an air vent, which forced more cold air into the other rooms. The problem would snowball until there were rooms bottoming out around 60 degrees F in late July.
  • Well, my philosophy on the matter is this: In business environments, it is not only more acceptable, it is more psychologically prudent to encouage cold people to wear more layers than it is to allow hot people to remove layers. "But I don't wanna wear a sweatshirt, I like it when it's 85F!!! Waaa!" doesn't really cut it with me, when you can easily put on a nice heavy jacket if you want to feel like it's 85.
  • I used to have a job where the boss always felt too hot. He kept the A/C so low that you could sometimes literally see your breath inside. Brrr...
  • Oh, and the job before that I worked in an unheated room. My bosses knew the room was unheated, but wouldn't allow me to wear a jacket or coat in winter because it looked "unprofessional." I got bronchitis. Brrr...
  • Is it that hard? No, If it was me i would look around that chilly lab and find the thermostat and turn it up (if it is not locked). There is probably a laser printer or something venting hot air on that stat and thereby kicking up that cool breeze of yours. As a former building operator i will tell you to fill out a work order or do it yourself, heh. Most of the time whomever runs your lab likes it that temp. Time after time i would answer hot/cold calls from some assistant only to discover the boss or office mate with more power likes it the way it is. Building supers Love to see Girls smuggling raisins This is so true
  • My bosses knew the room was unheated, but wouldn't allow me to wear a jacket or coat in winter because it looked "unprofessional." I got bronchitis. See, now that's just stupid, and probably against OSHA regulations. I don't care if someone's so cold (or has such a thyroid imbalance) that they have to wear a parka. Asshole bosses aside, I think everyone can agree that it's easier to take personal measures to warm up than to cool off.
  • It's a constant battle in my office over whether it's too hot or cold, it sucks. The "You can just put a jacket on" argument doesn't go down too well either.
  • I work in at an organization with the top seven floors of a 14 floor building. This spaces was completely gutted and rebuilt before we moved in 2 1/2 years ago. We have state of the art heating and cooling. But something is awry on my floor specifically where my department is housed. I am no dainty flower and do not get cold easily. But the first winter we were here, my dept. nearly froze to death. The rest of the building would be fine, but it would be freezing in my corner of the floor. We contacted the facilities people on a daily basis and they tinkered but it never got better. Finally the landlord was called in. He would come by my desk on a daily basis (where I would be sitting in a coat and gloves) and argue with me about the fact that it was too cold. (I was some how elected as spokesperson for my co workers). He had a hand held laser thermometer thing. He would shoot it at the vent over my head. Then he would shoot it at my desk. "See", he would say "The temperature at your desk is 68 degrees. That's perfect." I finally got into a yelling fight with him because he wouldn't tell me the temperature of the air coming out of the vent. Which I won. The air venting over my head was 60 degrees (when it was about 30 degrees outside). Basically, he didn't want incur the cost of having HVAC repairs made on a new building. It's much better now, but our area is still harder to regulate than the rest of the building.
  • When it is too cold, I like to put on a jacket. When it is too warm, I like to put one of my specially bred Arctic Leprechauns in my pants.
  • Ha. The building I'm in is ancient, steam-heated, and the thermostat controls are a crap shoot. 85% of the steam traps in the building need to be replaced (there are so many bad ones that the pressure imbalance ruins the recently replaced ones before enough of them have been changed to make a difference.) Some pipes squeal, some knock, and some just radiate heat for no reason in the middle of August. It's amazing to me how variable the temperature is just from one room to the next. The office next to mine is always 70 degrees, my office is always 80 (with the fan on and the window open) unless I turn on the air. Our lab oddly enough is right at 70, but the adjoining work rooms are about 5 to 10 degrees warmer for no apparent reason - and no thermostat in those rooms to control the heat. Some heaters have no connection to any thermostat controls (we had one that was stuck on full-blast, all the time, as far as I could tell the controls and shutoff valve for it were in a locked room one floor down!) Some of the thermostat control units actually have imprinted manufacture dates of 1930 or earlier. Aside from the damn heat control issues though, most of the problems are due to co-workers. Some idiots insist on turning thermostats up to 85 or 90, heat bleeds through walls and ceilings to affect adjoining rooms. Windows are left wide open in the middle of winter. Air conditioners are left on (auto-shutoff switches cleverly bypassed with various methods of wedging them open) to the point that some window units have actually been found physically choked with ice.
  • The computer lab I was in had a thermostat, but like many on campus, is locked in a clear plastic box with vent holes around it. When I worked at the casio, there were places on that boat (it was a riverboat casino) that were always freezing and there places that were always hot. Of course, being the shrinking violent I am, everytime I had to work in one of those places I called the employee coplaint line and told them how wonderfull it was for employee moral that the casino, that makes more than a million dollars a day in profit, can't be bothered to fix the HVAC so it is the same temperature everywhere... The Department's building is always unbearably hot in teh winter (except for the cold snap in October when they haven't turned the heat on yet) and apparently it is just on or off and there is no way to control it. Or so we are told. Regardless, in the dead of winter we will have the windows open.
  • Well, to revise and extend my previous statements, If it's 60F, that's just plain too cold to do reasonable work. I was mainly speaking of specific previous coworkers in my past that have literally complained to the President of the company because it was 72F in the office, and wanted the thermostat set to 80.
  • I used to have a job where the boss always felt too hot. He kept the A/C so low that you could sometimes literally see your breath inside. Brrr... I once worked in an area where the thermostat was in the boss's office. One particularly nippy morning, I knocked on his door and contritely asked, "Would it be too much trouble to ask for a lump of coal, Mr. Scrooge?"
  • Temperature outside today. 81 degrees. Temperature in the office today. 87 degrees. Muffpub is VERY unhappy.
  • *puts cold wet towel on Muffpub's forehead*
  • Muffpub: Fight back, a fan is not enough. These are the days to break out the ocean and palm tree posters, spread your beach towel on your chair, put on a pair of bright colored shorts and a plastic lei, and keep a fruity drink with a little umbrella on your desk. A straw hat is optional. Keep working, because there are no slackers here, just beach bums.