New heating system causing confusion at community housing facility
Published Tuesday, November 14, 2017 4:27PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, November 14, 2017 5:33PM EST
A newly installed system at a community housing facility is causing confusion and leaving some in the cold, with complaints of no heat at all.
Many residents at Fountain Blue Towers told CTV News their apartments were freezing, while others said they had no issues whatsoever.
The issue comes down to a new heat management system and that has emotions boiling over.
At 69 F, Lynne Jeffery finds it too chilly inside her apartment.
“It’s nice today, because there’s no wind, but wind comes from north. It’s cold,” says Jeffery.
Residents on every floor are complaining about the heat or lack of it.
But Chief Operating Officer Kirk Whittal says the heat is on.
“We are setting the control point at 73 (F) and that’s what it is,” says Whittal.
That’s three degrees higher than what is required by law.
In the summer, a new heat management system was installed at the apartment building on Rivard Avenue in east Windsor.
“There are sensors all around building that takes various readings, based on those, adjusts heat to deliver 73 degrees,” says Whittal.
CHC spends about $7.6-million annually on utilities for 5,000 homes across the city.
With the high cost of electricity, Whittal wanted to move away from expensive electric heat and introduced what he describes as a more efficient system to keep the heat on and costs down.
“We are thinking we are going to see 20 per cent savings with this system,” he says.
That works out to about $5,000 a month.
Whittal says it's a smart system and works like a furnace, but many residents are used to the old style of uneven electric heat.
In many cases, residents are using space heaters, which tells the system it’s hot, causing temperatures in other rooms to drop.
“So it’s designed to know if you leave your window open a crack. It won't deliver heat,” says Whittal.
While 73 is the max, if it’s too warm, residents can turn the temperature down.
Whittal says even after numerous tenant meetings, residents are not getting the message.
“I don't like too much heat,” says one resident. “It’s stuffy. I have to open my patio if gets too hot.”
There are roughly 400 units inside the building.
Officials say right now, it’s just a lot of back and forth, in terms of education and helping residents understand how the system works, for those who are used to dealing with electric heat.
CHC is currently installing this system in two of its other apartment buildings and last year did the same at another and saw a 25 per cent reduction in heating costs.