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Thread: Please explain HVAC and open doors

  1. #1
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    Please explain HVAC and open doors

    My indoor pool has 3 double doors that lifeguards (1 in particular) insist on opening b/c they are "hot". All the toasty warm air goes out the doors and water temp drops. Generally, our weather here has been in the 60's, windy, cloudy, and allergies are bad. When I asked them to shut the doors, the new excuse is ventilation. An email had gone out weeks ago about the great HVAC system they installed, so I questioned if opening these doors is helping or hurting the HVAC's job. Pool manager then switched to the excuse that "I don't know, just following the recommendations of the Health Inspector." What the? I hate swimming just to stay warm but I'm also concerned about proper ventilation.

  2. #2
    Very Active Member Calvin S's Avatar
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    Re: Please explain HVAC and open doors

    Not sure about your pool's HVAC system, but I know the college pool here in town (50M x 25Y) has a temperature controlled system. So opening doors because people are "hot" might provide temporary, immediate relief, but actually will long term exacerbate the issue because letting the hot air out lowers the temperature which tells the heating controls to pump more warm air in which raises the temperature inside even higher when the doors do end up being closed. Honestly, part of being a lifeguard at a pool is being hot. Another part is expecting to get wet. Maybe find out what the health inspector actually says?

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    Re: Please explain HVAC and open doors

    Good luck winning that battle.
    At one pool that I have used regularly the guards claim that some law/regulation/city-ordinance/blah blah blah states that the doors must be kept open to facilitate EMS in the case of an emergency. I swim in lots of pools around and nowhere else do they follow this "rule". It's never been raised in any of my lifeguard or coach training. It sounds like fabricated nonsense to me. I can see that keeping the doors unlocked might be a good idea, but then again one AG team I know locks them, claiming that it is to protect against child predators.

    I suspect the air handling is designed under the assumption that the doors will be closed most of the time. I suppose if you could get proof of that you might make some headway.
    I have never gotten the concept that the temperature regulation at a pool should be done for the convenience of the guards.

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    Re: Please explain HVAC and open doors

    Thanks, Karl and Calvin for the replies. Those are some questionable excuses! I know it's b.s. Another issue is that the two sets of double doors are just a few feet from the lap lane pool. So cool, windy air blowing on wet skin is not pleasant. I used to swim at another facility where the same issue occurred, but enough of the "seniors" in the therapy pool yelled so that they finally put a sign on the door to keep it closed. Right now, I think people are so grateful to have a pool, they won't dare complain. When it drops below 50, we'll see what happens.

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    Re: Please explain HVAC and open doors

    An update to my last post. It was raining and 38 degrees yesterday and just feet from the lap lanes, the door was open. The entire facility was cold, it was miserable. It makes more sense to lower the indoor heater if the lifeguards are so warm.

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    Very Active Member Calvin S's Avatar
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    Re: Please explain HVAC and open doors

    Quote Originally Posted by renie View Post
    An update to my last post. It was raining and 38 degrees yesterday and just feet from the lap lanes, the door was open. The entire facility was cold, it was miserable. It makes more sense to lower the indoor heater if the lifeguards are so warm.
    It makes even MORE sense for management to keep the facility at a temperature level most comfortable to the paying patrons of the establishment, than the temperature that keeps the employees most comfortable. Personally I think you should raise more hell about this. Squeaky wheel can get the grease.
    Last edited by Calvin S; November 1st, 2020 at 12:40 PM.

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    Re: Please explain HVAC and open doors

    Our pool here in Minnesota used to bring people up for trial if you kept a door open citing it would screw up their HVAC system. Now due to COVID rules from the health dept the doors to all swimming areas are kept open increasing air circulation and no doubt increased filtration.

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    Re: Please explain HVAC and open doors

    Dan, that's interesting and is the latest reason given to complaining patrons. So Minnesota indoor swimming pools plan to keep doors open all winter long? I find that hard to imagine they will do that, but then again, I didn't imagine this pool I swim in would still open doors when temps are in the 30's.

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    Re: Please explain HVAC and open doors

    There are 3 nearby indoor pool facilities that do not have their doors open, so I'm wondering if this particular facility has a less than desirable air quality.

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    Re: Please explain HVAC and open doors

    Quote Originally Posted by Calvin S View Post
    It makes even MORE sense for management to keep the facility at a temperature level most comfortable to the paying patrons of the establishment, than the temperature that keeps the employees most comfortable...
    No kidding.

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    Re: Please explain HVAC and open doors

    Quote Originally Posted by renie View Post
    There are 3 nearby indoor pool facilities that do not have their doors open, so I'm wondering if this particular facility has a less than desirable air quality.
    Sorry I wasn't clear. The door's aren't open to the outside but are open to a very large adjacent rec pool area. While not the same as outside I'm sure it helps to dilute the virus before it goes through the air filtration system.

  12. #12
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    Re: Please explain HVAC and open doors

    I would contact the local city health department to their printed guidelines.
    Covid will interject some changes but, open doors in winter should not be one of them.

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