45.6 F

Davis, California

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Dorm residents find ways to beat the heat

After an unexpected heat wave the weekend of Picnic Day, Student Housing had to make some adjustments to accommodate residents.
“We try to make sure that we do everything we can to keep the residents comfortable. I was personally here both days on Picnic Day. The sudden heat wave just caught us off guard,” said Dave MacKinnon, assistant director of Residence Hall Maintenance.
Each residence hall building has a separate air conditioning system. The buildings’ air conditioning is adjusted in an attempt to attain peak efficiency.
“The way that our systems work is that they can only do heating or cooling, but not both at the same time. We base the changeover on the weather forecast. We were worried about more cold weather and needing to keep the residents warm,” MacKinnon said.
As with any major mechanical system, the first time it is turned on during a season, it may not run properly. Student Housing has to turn on many cooling systems while making sure they work properly.

“It is uncommon that the first warm spell gets this hot, but as soon as it started we began the transition. It took about two full business days and was a challenge to complete,” he said.

During the time residence halls were being switched over to the cooling systems, residents had to put up with the heat.

“Because you expect to feel relief on a hot day when you walk into a building, having the air off was unexpected,” said first-year resident Patrick Le.

Having the air off also affected students in other ways.

“The air conditioning wasn’t on in my building and it was hot, so it made residents uncomfortable while trying to study for midterms. It is nice and cool in my room now,” said Andrew Chen, a first-year resident.

In order to beat the heat, residents found other ways to cool off, such as going to the Recreation Pool, which opened the day after Picnic Day, or spending time in study lounges and the library.

DANIELLE HUDDLESTUN can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.


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