After a mild winter but cold spring that New Jerseyans are now experiencing, summer can’t come soon enough for many Garden State’s residents. But don’t be surprised when people start forgetting about the cold and start complaining about the sweltering heat that usually heads our way in July and August. Cooling an entire building can get very expensive, but no one wants a long, hot, miserable summer. So it’s up to your building’s administration and residents to devise a plan now that allows for both comfort and thriftiness.
Community Climate Control
Keeping cool during the summer months can involve climate control at both the macro level (in the form of rooftop chiller equipment and other common infrastructure like outdoor HVAC units) or at the micro level (in the form of window-mounted A/C units, wall thermostats, etc. and central air conditioning). Building administrators and residents alike must strike a balance between comfort and savings. And to most building communities, money is always an issue.
When it comes to how all those components work together, says Edward H. Brzezowski, PE, the vice president of the energy/MEP services division for Falcon Engineering in Bridgewater, says that each building or condo complex is different.
“Medium- and high-rises may have a complex central cooling plant system—typically a chiller, cooling tower, dual temperature or chilled water and condenser water pumps—with air handling units serving chilled water coils to common spaces and fan coils or PTACs serving tenant spaces,” he says. Other building types may have cooling provided by rooftop or split A/C systems, window A/C units, or packaged terminal air conditioners (PTACs).
Frank Lauricella, the business development manager for The Daylight Savings Company, an energy-efficiency consulting engineering company in Goshen, New York, whose company works closely with the New Jersey Clean Energy program and the New Jersey SmartStart program, says that since most of the multifamily building stock in New Jersey is older, air conditioning is generally provided at the individual unit level, meaning that there is no central A/C.