Heat balancing at church


The twenty year old building I attend services. Cinder block walls, flat roof. The heat is natural gas, 80 percenters (induced flue draft). The building has seven zones. Plus, three offices have a mini split.
The problem is that three rooms are too hot. The primary (kids class room) is in zone 6. Sometimes it's too cold, so they push the thermostat to occupied. And much of the time it's too hot, and so they open the windows.
The library with the copier is too hot. And a computer, both of them throwing heat. I don't think they have a laminator, or other heater. Could be in zone 5 or 4, not sure. If it's zone 5, the thermostat is down the hall and around the corner. If it's zone four, the thermostat is around the other corner and down the other hall.
The nursery is probably in zone 4. They have two windows. They typically open the windows to let the heat out. Thermostat is around the corner in another room (the other room has a copier right under the thermostat).
I havn't found any dampers, yet.
Any ideas how to keep everyone comfortable? Windows open is a security problem because the teachers usually forget to reclose them.
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Christopher A. Young
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

Whatever the mechanical solution(s), I suggest a meeting to be sure all users have a hint of what is going on and do what they should to keep ALL users happy. This may be the hard part as old habits are hard to break, so good luck.
Lou
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You are exactly correct, that the leadership (and class teachers) have to be informed. I know of one teacher who has been pushing the thermostat button to occupied, or turning it off. Depending if she feels the class room is too hot. It's like the old joke about the married couple who got his and hers electric blankets. The controls got swapped some how. She's too cold so she's got it all the way up, and he's too hot, so he's got his all the way down.
I've been wondering. Might be some way to keep the circulating fans on all day, on Sunday. So the copier can heat the rest of the zone, and the hot primary room can help heat the rest of the zone.
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

New thermostats with occupancy motion detectors and password lockout. Can probably get some energy efficiency rebate for automatic motion detecting occupancy control. Of course, also inspect the system to ensure that the zoning controls are working properly.
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Seven zones, seven thermostats, and seven heating plants. Not sure what you mean "zoning controls".
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

Zoning controls presumed this was a zoned system as you had implied. If this is in fact seven independent systems, it is not a zoned system (singular). Zoning controls would be such things as motorized dampers or valves that control zones fed be a common source furnace, boiler, etc.
At any rate, motion detecting secured thermostats and a checkup of each system to ensure it is operating properly will go a long way towards resolving the problem. Most times these issues are entirely operator error where users with no knowledge of thermostats mess with them and expect to feel instant changes in temperature, blissfully ignorant of thermal mass, lag times, btu/hr capacity, etc. Keep those fingers off the controls and suddenly thing start to work a lot better.

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Zoning controls presumed this was a zoned system as you had implied.
CY: I could easily have used the wrong term.
If this is in fact seven independent systems, it is not a zoned system (singular). Zoning controls would be such things as motorized dampers or valves that control zones fed be a common source furnace, boiler, etc.
CY: The building has seven separate furnaces, with seven blowers, thermostats, etc. There are three minisplit AC in three offices. I have not been able to find any dampers.
At any rate, motion detecting secured thermostats and a checkup of each system to ensure it is operating properly will go a long way towards resolving the problem. Most times these issues are entirely operator error where users with no knowledge of thermostats mess with them and expect to feel instant changes in temperature, blissfully ignorant of thermal mass, lag times, btu/hr capacity, etc. Keep those fingers off the controls and suddenly thing start to work a lot better.
CY: I'm not sure the church would go for motion detecting thermostats. But, it's a good idea. Presently, only one thermostat appears to be able to set for seven days of the week. That's the one in the chapel. I've got that set to come on early, and switch off, late. Wish I could set the other six furnaces to come on early in the day and have the building comfortable before people arrive. Sigh.

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On Nov 17, 8:24am, "Stormin Mormon"

Put locking covers on the thermostats
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On Nov 17, 8:24am, "Stormin Mormon"

OK for gas heat, but forced hot air or hot water radiators and convection heating or what?
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Fan forced hot air. Heat registers in the ceiling. Some return vent grilles in the floors.
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Adjusting HVAC in rooms with a lot of people is very difficult...
Each person puts off around 600 BTU's of heat! So if you fill a room with people in the dead of winter, you may actually need a bit of cooling, not heating!
They have the same problem in large computer rooms filled with electronic equipment. It may be 20 degrees outside, but in the computer room they have the A/C going full blast keeping the room cool.
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That's being my experience. The hot rooms are nursery and primary (lot of high energy kids) and the library with the copier pumping out heat.
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On Tue, 17 Nov 2009 09:24:03 -0500, "Stormin Mormon"

When the heat is on? Isn't that a sin?
When I was in a college fraternity, the house manager, another student, disconnected the thermostat in the dining room but didnt' tell anyone. Because it was radiator heat and not forced air, I don't think it was obvious to those setting the thermostat up that nothing new was happening.
He put another thermostat in the corner of the basement I think .

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If open windows in the heat season isn't a sin, it oughta be.
When I was a teen, my sister and her boyfriend lived in a house where the thermostat was in a different apartment. The guy would turn the heat down before he left for work. And my sister and her BF would freeze butt. I wasn't able to do much for them. Now, I'd know how to run a separate wire, and put a fixed point stat in the hall.
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On Tue, 17 Nov 2009 18:36:11 -0500, "Stormin Mormon"

Not in the hall. The guy in the other apartment will find it. In your sister's apartment.
When I lived in Brooklyn, our building of 49 apartments was bought by a skinflint. I don't think there was a timer, but I guess he got the super to turn the heat up in the morning for a couple hours and down in the middle of the day when most people weren't home. But some people were home including some old ladies and every winter day the building would cool below the legal daytime temperature for NYC.
Later a tenant I didn't know told me his baby had gotten sick and died partly because of this.
And he was also fined by the city because of this. But that hadn't gone to court yet, nor did I even know about the case. So one night, I bypassed** the keyswitch in the elevator, went to the basement, usscrewed the hasp on the furnace room (which was obviously put on wrong), and I found the Heat Output knob on some controller. It was held on the shaft with a set screw. I loosened it, moved the know ccw and tightened it on again, then turned it to the setting where it used to be, so it loooked like the temp hadn't been changed, and all my neighbors had more heat. I don't know how many years this lasted before he figured it out.
**I had permanently bypassed it. We used to have access to the basement, which was important if I blew the fuse for the apartment and I wanted to change it without looking for or waking the super. The LL had also agreed I could store some boxes down there. There was a lot of empty space.
So when the one of the empty circles in the brass elevator control panel was replaced by a key lock switch, and I realized one had to unlock the switch and also push the button for the basement, one night I took off the whole faceplate, and attached some lamp cord across the terminals of the switch. The other end of the wire was cut with wire cutters. Then I put the faceplate back on, positioning the end of the wire even with the bottom of the thick brass faceplate.
So when I wanted to go to the basement, all I had to do was hold a coin sideways so it touched both wires of the lamp cord, and press the button for the basement at the smae time. I moved 2 or 3 years later and when I was back twice after that, I forgot to look if he had removed it or not.
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On Sun, 22 Nov 2009 08:06:13 -0800, Smitty Two
[snip]

Good idea :-)
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