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Heating/Cooling Policy

The Maintenance Department is mindful of the impact of energy consumption both on the environment and the budget. We routinely monitor schedules and temperatures in our campus buildings in accordance with a strict heating and cooling policy. Our goal during the winter months is to provide temperatures within the comfort range, 68-70 degrees. Many offices and rooms on campus have individual thermostats. If occupants wish to set their thermostats to a lower temperature they may do so. Just make sure everyone in the office agrees to the change. We also use night and weekend setbacks to 60 degrees to maximize our energy savings for the College. We will adjust the schedules for special events, but these requests will be treated as exceptions, not the norm.

In summer months electrical consumption is minimized by careful scheduling of space needs and monitoring our peak power requirements. Our goal for summer cooling is 75-78 degrees, but again for those areas with thermostats, occupants are free to select a warmer temperature. We do not recommend a room temperature over 78 degrees when offices are occupied as controlling humidity can become an issue. After work hours it is preferable that systems and AC units are turned off

There will be wide variations in comfort levels based on individual preference and physical condition of the space. Everything from the age of the building, location of the building, type of heating/cooling units, and other factors can impact the provision of heat or cooling to individual rooms. In some cases, a room's proximity to mechanical areas or steam/hot water lines makes it challenging to keep the room cool. For others a southern exposure and ample windows provide the added btu's.

Please be aware that most buildings at Swarthmore use systems that can accommodate either heating or cooling, but not both. This means their systems are transitioned partway through the school year, first to heating in the fall and then back to cooling again as the outside weather warms in spring. This can sometimes present issues where rooms may get too warm, for example, on unusually warm winter days. Unfortunately, it is not possible to toggle back and forth between heating and cooling in the same season. Dates for transition are based on weather projections, but typically Fall Break is the switch point for turning on heat. Mid to late April starts the cooling season.