Heat and PSD

Heat Resistant Opportunities and Practices at PSD


  • Film
    • Tinted film has been added at several locations such as Preston Middle School's east facing main hall bridges, Fort Collins High School's south facing windows, and the monitor glass at the Delaney sites.
    • In some cases reflective film on windows was requested and denied as it affects the thermal pane balance (the operation of the window).
  • Shades/blinds
    • Added in the east hall windows at Preston.
    • Installation of a 1% shade material instead of district standard 3% in two south facing classrooms at Webber Middle School to reduce heat passage.
    • Other blinds-related solutions were done in classrooms in several schools.


  • Past strategies 
    • Utilizing outside air and flushing the building with large fans and/or BAS manipulation. The “hottest” schools are the 1960-1990 builds in which the exterior building thermal envelope is typically constructed with non-insulated masonry walls with single panel windows
    • Most HVAC renovations in the older schools included glazing replacement with insulated window units (Lesher and Putnam Middle Schools, Barton Early Childhood Center, Dunn Elementary School). Window film was explored but it did not provide much relief. In the “Delaney models.” reflective tinting was added to the monitors.

Building Automation

  • Run HVAC at full outside fresh air intake in buildings from 1 to 3 a.m. to bring in cool night air
  • Change room set points to allow the room to sub cool (avoiding the mixing of warmer air with cooler air from the dampers) 
  • Use morning cool down modes (continuing to bring in cooler air as long as the temps support it)
  • Turn certain equipment off during the heat of the day (gym air ex.) equipment that has zero cooling impact but could accidentally cause warm air to be drawn into the building.  
  • Shutting the system off has always been the best – stale cool air vs warmer moving air, in terms of the temperature. This allows occupants to move air with stationary fans.  

Custodial Efforts

  • Place large fans to push air through the building; supervisors work with head custodians to identify the best placement to maximize air circulation without impeding the ventilation system.
  • Open windows and doors early morning when possible and safe to do so to allow morning cool air in; once students arrive in the building, doors are closed following Security protocols. 
  •  Leave windows on second story/third story windows open overnight to allow cool air in throughout the night/early morning.
  • Keep window shades closed.
  • Report HVAC problems promptly.
  • Box fans were delivered from the Warehouse to schools as requested.

Additional Upcoming Efforts

  • Apply heat reflective paint on asphalt areas by schools (picking sites for spring application).
  • Evaporative coolers use with specific standards published (underway).
  • Use work order and McKinstry data to ensure chillers remain in good repair and are operable.