Heating in the Residence Halls
As the sun sets earlier (often with a spectacularly beautiful display of color!), casting campus in shadow, so too is the colder weather on its way. The heat for buildings on the UNH Durham campus was recently turned on in preparation of these low temperatures. What should you be aware of as we say good-bye to air conditioning and welcome the heat?
First of all, many of the different residence halls on campus have different heating systems. Some have hefty radiators, while others have blowers installed on the walls. However, all of the systems have the same temperature span. Air conditioners will not bring the temperature below 68 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas the heat will not go above 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Be aware of this as you seek the ideal temperature to keep your room warm and comfortable, not chilly or stifling!
Getting Hot, Hot, Hot?
If you find yourself constantly too hot or too cold in your dorm room, there are several things to consider. First, what is your furniture arrangement? Is your bed directly beneath the blower that provides heat? Or is it pushed up to the opposite wall? You may want to consider reorganizing your room so that you aren’t inundated with hot air or shivering in a far-off corner where the heat cannot easily reach. Dorm rooms are tight quarters, but you can be creative!
What if your heating system does not appear to be working properly? One of the worst things you can do is to open a window. This will always make the situation worse! Instead, bring the problem to the attention of the Facilities Department. One new and fun way to do this is through the new Twitter program established by the Department of Civil Engineering. Called “Tweeting (Dis)comfort, this allows you to quickly let Facilities know where there are problems with the heat across campus. Is it stifling in your morning lecture? Tweet @UNHbuildings, and make sure to include:
• the building
• the room number
• your comfort level (cold / hot / too cold / too hot)
Keep in mind this is not meant to be an immediate fix; it is very unlikely that someone will be able to fix the problem during your class period. However, this program is helpful to Facilities because it allows them to track where the significant problems are, and they will do their best to correct them. Take advantage of this program! As an added bonus, the more you tweet @UNHbuildings, the higher your chance of winning a $25 gift card! In addition to tweeting, you can also call Facilities at 862-1437 to report a problem.
During the past few weeks, the buildings with the most tweets through the program have been Parsons, Hamilton-Smith and Horton. The majority of these tweets claim these buildings are too hot. Check out the results from the program, including a wonderful map of the locations of tweets and the frequency of hot or cold tweets, here: http://smartbuildings.unh.edu/tweetingdiscomfort.html
One more thing to consider as we discuss the heat at UNH is the cost of keeping all of the buildings on campus up and running. Let’s take a look at how much it cost to run some UNH residence halls from Nov. 1 through Nov. 10:
• Christensen Hall: $7,298.32
• Alexander Hall: $848.86
• Congreve Hall: $2,448.66
• Peterson Hall (SERC B): $1,992.13
• Hitchcock Hall: $762.67
Are you curious what the cost is for your dorm? Find out more: http://energy.sr.unh.edu/graph/
Try opening your blinds to take advantage of the beautiful sunshine to heat your room during the day. Closing the blinds at night will help conserve the heat in your room. Lastly, don’t leave the heat blasting in your room when you leave for class or go home for the weekend!