In most of our main campus residence halls, we have packaged terminal air conditioners (HVAC Units). These units are efficient because the heated or chilled water is produced centrally, via chiller, boiler, or heat exchanger, and is then pumped throughout the building to the individual units.
Each HVAC unit has a coil inside, with either hot or cold water running through the coil. Air is blown across the coil, heating or cooling the room efficiently. During the warmer months, condensation will occur naturally on the coil as the air in the room is passed over it, taking the moisture out of the air even as it cools the room.
When furniture, clothes, or other obstructions block the intake of the HVAC unit, air circulation cannot occur, and the unit will not function properly. Heated or chilled water is still passing through the coil, but the unit cannot circulate the air in the room. It is this circulation process that helps to take the moisture out of the air and keeps mildew at bay.
To ensure adequate air flow across the coil in your HVAC unit, we ask that you maintain at least 6” of clearance in front of and below the unit. This will allow air to flow freely over the coil, and will help ensure that your room remains at a comfortable temperature and humidity.