It’s getting hot in here

By Shelby Tankersley

This last week many residents have experienced a heat wave of sorts: the dorms have been abnormally hot.

So why the sudden dial turn up?

The heating systems at OU are on an outdoor reset schedule. In simple terms, if the temperature goes down one degree outside, the heat inside will go up by one degree. This can be played with by maintenance to a degree, but for the most part that’s how it works.

Mark Warden, who works with the heating plant, explained that the system works that way in order to keep things relatively balanced.

“The reason for the reset schedule is to compensate for loss of heat in the buildings,” Warden said. “One degree drop outside will mean a one degree rise in the buildings.”

The buildings are actually heated by water, according to Warden

Basically, hot water is run from the central heating plant to the buildings and that water heats water inside the buildings. The water that was already inside the building is then able to run to the heaters to so they can heat the building.

“But the two waters never mix.” Warden said.

This system could explain why the dorms have been so hot this week, considering the weather outside.

However, the heating going up every time temperature goes down outside doesn’t lead to overly hot buildings, just balances things. Frank Moss, the Maintenance Director for Housing, said that they strive to keep the dorms at around 72 degrees this time of year.

According to Moss, to keep the buildings at a happy medium, some parts of a building may end up hotter than others in order to keep everyone warm.

“In Vandenberg, for example, there are four heating zones, north, south, east and west.” Moss said. “The north side of the building will always be colder because of the north wind and the south will be hotter because it gets a lot of sunlight.”

“We have to adjust the heat so the north side stays warm, but the south side will be hot because they’re getting the sun.” Moss said.

With the rest of the winter still ahead of us, may we all stay warm and may the dorms continue to stay reasonable.