Ontario’s climate is characterized by harsh weather conditions, with temperatures soaring above 40 degrees Celsius in summer and plummeting to below -25 degrees Celsius in winter. Additionally, the region experiences significant humidity and frequent storms, further adding to the complexity of building management. In this blog, we will explore the daunting task faced by property managers in tailoring to everyone’s needs and addressing the rapid switch between cold and hot days during the transition process. Taking care of the diverse needs and requirements of residents across different elevations and floors can be a challenging endeavor for property managers.
It’s important to note that the switch between cooling and heating systems is not an instantaneous process. Property managers don’t have a magic switch in their office that can instantly change the temperature settings. To understand the challenges and considerations involved in cooling and heating switchovers, it is essential to grasp the basics of how these systems work. In condominiums, central cooling and heating systems are typically employed, with a central plant supplying chilled or heated water to individual units.
A network of pipes distributes the conditioned water throughout the building, connecting to fan coil units or air handling units within each unit to provide the desired temperature. The efficiency and effectiveness of these systems depend on proper maintenance, regular inspections, and careful management during switchovers.
The cycle for switching between cooling and heating typically spans over three days. This allows for the necessary procedures and adjustments to be made to ensure a seamless transition. In a high-rise building in Ontario, the technical side of HVAC switching from cooling to heating involves several steps. The building manager monitors the weather forecast and selects a suitable date for the switch. They then reserve this date with their HVAC contractor. On the chosen date, the contractor arrives and begins the process by stopping the chiller, which halts the cooling process.
This allows the loop, which circulates chilled water throughout the building, to gradually cool down. The contractor monitors the temperature of the loop to ensure it reaches a safe level for the switch. Once the loop has sufficiently cooled, the contractor proceeds with switching the system to the heating mode. This involves activating the boiler, which generates heat by burning fuel or using electricity. The heating water is then circulated throughout the building through the same loop.
Throughout this process, it is important to ensure that valves and dampers are functioning properly to control the flow of water and maintain appropriate temperatures. The building manager and HVAC contractor work together to perform any necessary inspections and tests to verify the functionality of these components. Compliance with local regulations and codes is essential during HVAC switching, ensuring adherence to energy efficiency requirements, ventilation standards, and occupant comfort guidelines.
To ensure a successful and seamless switchover during cooling and heating transitions, property managers should follow best practices:
During cooling and heating switchovers in condominiums, it is important for property management to address resident concerns. Providing a platform for residents to voice their concerns or ask questions can help alleviate any uncertainties. Keeping residents informed about the switchover process and timeline is also crucial, as clear communication helps manage expectations. If there are any disruptions or inconveniences, property management should provide clear and timely communication to minimize any negative impacts on residents.
When considering the future of cooling and heating switchovers, it is worth exploring emerging technologies and trends. Innovations such as geothermal heating or solar cooling systems offer more sustainable and eco-friendly options. Additionally, advancements in HVAC automation and control systems contribute to greater energy efficiency and ease of use. By staying updated with these trends and embracing new technologies, property management can continue to enhance the cooling and heating experience for residents while minimizing environmental impact.
Director of Business Development and Client Relations