For years the concept of adding air conditioning to the church was explored and in 2012 an earnest effort by Peter Siposs was developed. Previously, only open windows and doors gave ventilation and on warm days with a full house of people it was sometimes quite warm. Those open windows and doors also allowed a lot of dust into the church. As with any improvements like this, the visual impact had to be minimal and the unavoidable noise had to be virtually zero. The heart of the system is in the attic with some equipment on two roof balconies largely hidden on the sides. This arrangement allows very quite operation both inside and out. There’s funny thing about Air-conditioning. Its an added element to the church that was designed to just be there, largely out of sight and sound. Making a comfortable place to worship without really noticing a temperature too hot or cold is important and challenging.
The cooling provided is effective anywhere in the main body of the church (less than 1 degree difference from front to back) and the clean filtered air has helped keep the church cleaner than before. Filtered air is important for the longevity of all intricate detail and Stations of the Cross etc. It is remarkably inexpensive to operate partly due by taking advantage of cool night air being brought into the church rather than forced cooling until warmer daytime hours when full cooling is needed.
The only visual changes in the church are the air vents present near the high altar and a purge vent near the pipe organ. Modern louvered ventilation grates would look inappropriate in a 100 year old church so the new grates were carefully designed to look original to the church. In fact their look was modeled after the original four ceiling vents, the grates over the rear confessionals, the exterior crawl-space vents and other metal scroll work throughout the church. Look close and you will see the similarities and how the styles are tied together. Hot summer masses and weddings are finally a comfortable at St. Aloysius.