With the heat wave this past week, there’s been a lot of concern about whether the air conditioning could keep up. Cathy sent a list of suggestions last week and I’d like to add another: please clean or change your filters on a regular basis! It’s easy to forget and a clogged filter puts unnecessary strain on your heat pump.

I hope everyone is enjoying the much lovelier weather that arrived this weekend. But with lots of summer still to come, I’m going to post Cathy’s suggestions here for future reference.

I suggest that during these especially hot days you do the following few things to help keep your unit cooler and reduce your electric costs.

  • Shut your blinds, shades, or drapes during the daytime, especially if you are on the sunny side of the building, to keep out some of the outside heat.
  • When you leave your unit to go out, turn the temperature up so the heat pumps are not calling for so much cold air. This will make the building system work more efficiently because 278 heat pumps are not calling for maximum cooling when it is not needed – it will also save you money on your electric bill.

If there’s been an interruption in service and the main system is now back up and running but the air from your heat pumps is still very warm, please reset your heat pumps using the follow protocol.

  • Turn the thermostats down so that they are calling for air conditioning.
  • Shut off the circuit breakers for the heat pumps
  • Wait about 60 seconds and turn the circuit breakers back on
  • In 15-30 minutes the air coming out of your heat pumps should be cooler


4 thoughts on “AC”

  1. Cathy’s suggestions last week don’t actually make a lot of sense.

    Heat pumps only have one mode – they’re on, or they’re off. Whether it is 71 degrees in your unit and you’re trying to lower it to 70, or it’s 75 and you’re trying to lower it to 74, you are putting the same amount of stress on the unit and the system in general.

    But if you follow Cathy’s recommendations and, for example, set the daytime temperature to 75 and set it to lower to 70 when you get home, the unit needs to work for 5x as long because it’s trying to drop the temperature 5 degrees instead of 1 instead of spreading that draw out over the day.

    Unless I’m missing something, her suggestion will keep the draw on the units the same during the day (since it’s still trying to lower the temperature a degree at a time) but will INCREASE the simultaneous draw draw on the system after work when everybody tries to lower their unit’s temperature at once, and it’s peak draws like that that stress the system.

    It is less stress on the system to set the temp to a comfortable temperature and keep it there, or if you insist on having day/night cycles, then only bumping the temperature change a few degrees.

    1. You may have a point about peak usages. But the heat is also usually beginning to drop from it’s hottest point when people are arriving home so I suspect she’s got a point too. You’re definitely spot on about the pumps either being “on” or “off” and that increases of only a few degrees at a time are easier on the system; thank you for that reminder.

      I think the best thing to do is be reasonable about one’s settings and expectations, and to consider adding a fan or two for maximum comfort rather than trying to cool the entire unit to goosebump temperature. It is, after all, summer.
      (That’s just my personal opinion; please don’t interpret it as a request that people forgo ac).

  2. Yes thank you very much!! I change mine a minimum of every 4 months. Got to keep those clean or new!!! Thanks again

  3. I have a better suggestion. You need to improve the flow of air through your heat exchanger. You can do this by removing the front panel, then ensure the open space above the fins are blocked off by a thin impenetrable insulating material. I have a roll of this and would be happy to share it. When I bought my condo, there were no air filters in either heat exchanger. I had to replace one unit and since the other one was new I had the fins cleaned and washed. Afterwards I ensure I use a good filter but they don’t get that dirty.

    I am more interested in why the water temperature I was getting to my units last week was hotter than the outside air temperature. I figure if the cooling unit on the roof is doing it’s job, the temperature in the water should drop to at least the outside air temperature.

    Yes the units are either on or off. If you think of this thing logically, you are surrounded by other units, you get a lot of heat from your neighbors in the winter and cooling from them in the summer. All of our heat exchangers are working in unison to keep the building at a comfortable temperature. I really only bring the temperature in my condo up or down a few degrees. If you go on vacation for a week and come back, given you turn off your heat or A/C, you know this to be true.

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