CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago has had eight days of record warmth, and it’s caused some residents of Presidential Towers in the West Loop to wonder why the air conditioning isn’t on.
“I was not able to sleep because of the heat, and I was sweating in my bed,” said Amulya Shrama, who lives on the 42nd floor of Presidential Towers, at 555 W. Madison St.
After enduring days of heat, he finally asked the management what was going on with the lack of air conditioning.
“Please, please, please turn on the air conditioning. And no response,” he told WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller Reports
The general manager of Presidential Towers sent residents a letter, which advised them to keep blinds closed during the day and indicated there would be no air conditioning until June 1 – ending with the line, “Summer is just around the corner and we are enjoying this brief preview of why it is so great to live in downtown Chicago.”
As CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez reports, the record warmth in March poses a big question for owners of high-rise buildings, because switching between heat and air conditioning is an expensive and labor-intensive process. Switching to air conditioning now might mean having to switch back to heat soon if the weather turns cold again.
Presidential Towers’ decision not to turn on A/C literally has left residents hot under the collar. They said building management made the wrong choice.
The windows at Presidential Towers offer beautiful views of the city, but with temps in the low to mid 80s for the past week, the windows have helped turn up the heat inside.
On the side of the building facing the sun Wednesday afternoon, the thermostat read 92 degrees.
Residents have bought fans, stocked up on cold water, or simply headed for the door.
“Everyone is in the same boat. I go to the lobby, a lot of residents are there, because their units are so hot,” Shrama said.
The Western view just makes it worse inside, delivering hot rays of sun all day. The windows won’t open more than 6 inches, so without A/C, they can’t get a lot of air moving.
“Sometimes I just stay here (with his head above the open window) and get the air,” Shrama said. If he doesn’t stand right next to the window, Shrama said he can’t feel the air moving.
“I tried to contact management with Tweets and Facebook messages, but they said that they decided to keep it this way until June 1,” Shrama said. “They might change after this, but as of today, their decision is to keep it this way till June 1.”
Management at Presidential Towers did not return calls for comment, but Shrama said they told residents switching off the heat and turning on the AC is a long, labor-intensive process.
SOT We are living in 21st center. If it takes 10 days to switch than it’s not use
Over at Flair Tower, a smaller boutique apartment building located at 222 W. Erie St. in the River North neighborhood, building owners listened to residents’ complaints, pulled out the patio furniture, and made the switch from heat to A/C.
But, unlike a lot of older high-occupancy buildings, they say still have the ability to offer heat – at a cost.
“There are some properties that have one or the other. We just are lucky that we have that second option to be able to provide heat all year-round,” said Flair Tower manager Colleen Murphy.