‘Shoulder season’ poses challenges at Sheridan


With weird fall weather upon us, facilities services want the community to be aware of the challenges they face when it comes to heating and cooling the campuses.

This week, temperatures are going from 28 degrees Celsius down to 4 degrees Celsius. The facilities department calls this shoulder season.

Roger Bankuti, an operations engineer, uses a chiller to cool and dehumidify the air in the south wings of Trafalgar Campus (Photos by Cory Morrison/ Sheridan Sun).

“You will experience cool temperatures and warm temperatures drastically,” said Katie Rinas, a facilities project technologist at Sheridan. “They are not hot, and they are not cold, which is why we call it shoulder season.”

Rinas said that with temperature swings in early fall, it is hard for operators to ensure a decent amount of heating and cooling in the buildings because they cannot heat and cool them at the same time.

“With drastic temperature swings, it is not only difficult to manage from an operator’s point of view, but we as humans are not climatized to deal with massive temperature fluctuations,” she said.

One of the reasons why shoulder season is a challenge for the department is because the campuses are large with many buildings, and the equipment makes heating and cooling at the same time more difficult compared to a house.

“The systems here are industrial systems, so you are dealing with much larger spaces than you would in a single home where you would have gas, fire, and a furnace,” said Roger Bankuti, an operations engineer. “Here it is very different. You have multiple wings, zones, floors, and you have large air handling units which do portions of these large spaces.”

Bankuti said that the sizes of the equipment combined with the larger spaces on campus would create challenges as well.

“We are using large chill water tubes, heat water tubes, and steam heat exchangers,” he said. “We can’t just turn on and turn off from one day to the next to be effective. It is time-consuming.”

Despite the challenges, Rinas said that operators try to make heating and cooling easier during temperature swings.

Katie Rinas, a facilities project technologist, uses a heating pipe to transfer heat in the C wing at Trafalgar Campus.

“We’re looking at the outside predicted temperatures, and we’re purposely trying to modify schedules on air handling units,” she said. “If we know we have a hot day, and then it’s going to get cold, later in the afternoon we will typically try to store a lot of the heating energy so that we can ride through the cold shoulder and have our air conditioning available when it gets hot outside again.”

Rinas also said that operators try to modulate dampers during shoulder season.

“They try to bring the correct amount of fresh air, heating air, and cooling air to try to maintain building temperatures in reasonable levels,” she said.

Bankuti said that the required date for heating, or at least having heating available, will be Monday, Oct. 15.

“We will be holding the status quo which is staying on cooling up until the required time for changing over,” he said.

For more information, contact Trafalgar services at 905-845-9430 (ext. 2255) or fmdkstra@sheridancollege.ca. Contact Davis or Hazel McCallion services at 905-459-7533 (ext. 5210) or fmdskdav@sheridancollege.ca.

Infographic by Cory Morrison/Sheridan Sun.

About Cory Morrison 0 Articles
Cory Morrison is a second-year Journalism student at Sheridan College. He has well-known passions for writing and weather reporting. His passions for these two things inspired him to enroll in Sheridan's Journalism program. He also has autism spectrum disorder.