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Transitioning from air conditioning to heat aboard base now underway

26 Oct 2016 | Marianne Weaver/Staff Writer Marine Corps Base Quantico


Despite record high temperatures in October, sunset is earlier, birds have begun to migrate and cooler weather is here. Before winter takes hold of Virginia, Quantico Public Works has a plan to prepare buildings aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico for the cold winter months.

Although home heating systems kick on with the flip of a switch, heating and cooling the entire base is quite an undertaking.

Each year, the cooling system is shut down in preparation for switching to heating operations in the winter months, explained Lt. Joshua Ma, assistant public works officer. The buildings are on “one-pipe systems,” meaning the same water used for heating is also used for cooling. The pipes need time to recover from thermal shock so a sudden influx of hot water doesn’t cause them to burst.  Generally, making the transition from cooling to heating takes about 30 days, which consists of starting up the boilers in the 99 percent of the buildings on base that use them.

According to Ma, the base switched off air conditioning Oct. 1. Heating systems will be started  Nov. 15.

“Our HVAC technicians will prioritize heating startup based on the type of facility,” said Ma. “The priorities are:  barracks, chow halls, administration buildings and, finally, warehouses.”

Although Public Works has finalized their priorities, Ma said early start-up waivers can be requested by using the Work Request Form NAVFAC 9-11014/20.

Questions and concerns can be addressed to the Facilities Maintenance Section Trouble Desk at 703-784- 2072.

Marine Corps Base Quantico