Cold schools have parents hot over CMS’s HVAC switch


CHARLOTTE, N.C. — With temperatures now dipping into the 30s and 40s overnight, some parents are taking to social media to express concern over cold classrooms across the district. So, what does Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools have to say about when it will turn up the heat, and what can parents do to keep their kids comfortable in the meantime?


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CMS says HVAC systems will be switched over to heat beginning Monday, November 15, but an earlier or later switch can also be requested by the school’s principal should the need arise.

However, any request made outside of the scheduled conversion, officials say, must allow 4-5 hours for completion and work will only be done once.

While overnight temperatures are getting cold, afternoon highs are still reaching the upper 70s across the Charlotte area. This can, in some cases, make the process of converting the systems cumbersome as many older schools still operate on a two-pipe system.

With this type of system, a CMS spokesperson says once the conversion to heat is made, it is not easy to switch back over to air conditioning. Because this process also takes a significant amount of time, once the conversion is complete, it is typically not reversed until the spring.

When dressing kids for school, parents should plan for layers that can be removed throughout the day, while still abiding by the school/district’s dress code.

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