The timetablers have been kicked out of their usual room. The room is needed for some examinations so we have been displaced to a different location. The temporary room has many uses including a meeting room so is much larger than the usual place. Another interesting difference is the lack of windows! There are windows but they do not go to the outside, instead they look out over the school’s mall area. This means a lack of ventilation in a very warm school (damn those energy-efficient building controls). But, not to worry as we have an air conditioning unit, so there is the energy efficiency displaced. It gets better, much better. Let me explain:
An air conditioning unit works by cooling the air already present in a room. However, this process itself requires more heat is generated. So an air conditioning unit has to take some of the warm air and heat it a bit more and then dump it to an outside location were the extra heat does not matter.
One day I was working at the computer and I put the air con on as it was getting a little too hot. The cool air felt great until about five minutes later and I thought, “hold on, what’s that?” As I felt very warm air on my head I looked up to see an air vent. Standing up revealed that it was blasting out hot air. Several minutes of investigation later I discovered something that is insanely stupid; the air con unit had been set up to blast its hot air back into the same room that it was supposed to cool!
I thought this was hilarious as it turns an air conditioning unit into a very expensive and inefficient heater. Leaving it running will simply heat up the room. The engineer who fitted it must have known. I can only guess at the conversation……
“I want an air conditioning unit”
“We can’t fit it as we are too deep into the building and the hot air vent has nowhere to go!”
“I don’t care where you put the hot air vent, just fit it!”