Friday, July 22, 2011

Air Conditioning at Grotto? {UPDATED}


See my update at the bottom if you have previously read this post.

It was about 90 F today, but you wouldn't have known that if you were inside Assumption Grotto parish church with those condensers running today. 

Fr. Perrone has been on vacation.  When the pastor is gone, the associate pastor will....[wait for it]
... install air conditioner condensers!!!

OK - so we really need more than two  of these to get it as cool as it is in other parishes, but the idea is to get the parish church cooler and drier inside than it is outside on the really hot days.  It is not unusual on a string of 90F days for the temps to rise even higher inside, and it can take several days for the temp to come down after the heat leaves because there isn't any way for it to escape.  Fr. John wrote in the Grotto News this past weekend:




You may also notice the two condenser units that have been installed in the old coal chute well on the north side of the church. These units are part of a system designed to make the church a little more comfortable in the summer months. While it is not a “full blown” air conditioning system, it should reduce the humidity in the church and hopefully make the church a few degrees cooler than outside.


These things were fired up yesterday when temps hit 100F in several metro Detroit areas.  Even though it was 90 today, this is what we had just as the 7:00pm Mass was about to get underway:




I did not even break a sweat and was reasonably comfortable throughout Mass and evening Rosary.  For it to be 10 degrees cooler inside the parish church, than the peak high of the day, is truly amazing.  You can feel the cool air coming out of the grates. 

On Monday at the same time, before the really hot weather set in on Wednesday and Thursday, I got the reading below.  I could not go back for Mass those days and ended up at St. Anne's in Warren at the 6:15am early bird daily.   I knew when I took this reading we were no where near any kind of peak high for inside the Church.




I was sitting still and just dripping wet because it was so humid, as well.  For the priest, fully vested, and servers with cassock and surplice, all moving about, it was even worse.

Tonight, everyone looked pretty comfortable with that 79.5 temp.

For all those Grotto-goers who have scattered to take refuge in cooler parishes for Mass, y'all come back now.

UPDATE:

This week's Grotto News just came online and we have these words from Fr. John.  Considering that this was written before the condensers got working, I think we should continue with our prayerful efforts.  I like Fr. John's sense of humor:


There is still work to be done in finalizing the system to help reduce the humidity inside the church and provide some cooler air to make the inside temperatures a few degrees cooler than outside. These weeks are proving to be a wonderful “worst-case” scenario in regard to the 100+ degree temperatures and high humidity. It should be noted that we are trying to accomplish this for a fraction of the cost of what a full air conditioning system would cost the church. I’ve started a novena to St. Nicholas that we can have a working system by the end of the novena. Others have started novenas to St. Jude. I’m not sure who is more on target for the patron: the Patron of the North Pole or the Patron of Impossible Causes...


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3 comments:

Fr Tim Finigan said...

What a great pastoral initiative! We don't usually have air conditioning in Churches here in England (we don't need is as much as you do) but I would love to install it in my Church. I think it would make us the first air-conditioned parish in the diocese :-)

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

When temperatures reach 37C inside your parish church, you should indeed get air conditioning.

We will see how long it lasts once our pastor gets the electric bill

:o

Chris said...

Hopefully he won't get the electric bill until after the 15th ...