Heating and Air Conditioning
The majority of building complaints are about air conditioning. Some basic facts:
O&M’s air is not locally controlled; that is, occupants cannot reset the thermostats themselves. Utilities and Energy Services monitors and adjusts the O&M air system from a control center near the airport. Since the controls were installed in the mid-1990s and recalibrated in 2007, the system has saved the university an enormous amount of energy and money. UES and the Facility Coordinator continually tweak the system to obtain the best results with respect to occupant comfort and efficiency.
O&M operates on a set-back system. Monday through Friday, the a/c enters “occupied” mode at 5:00am, to either heat or cool the building, depending on the season, and goes into “unoccupied” mode at 6:00pm. It remains in unoccupied mode throughout the weekend and long holidays.
If you work during off-hours and find your office/lab uncomfortable, look for a small white plastic prong protruding from the top of the thermostat. Depress the prong one time. That will override the set-back mode and will provide cool or warm air for two hours. After two hours you will have to re-depress the prong to obtain more cool/warm air. Mashing up and down on the prong multiple times is of no use. One press only. If that does not work, report the thermostat to the building proctor as being out of order.
Halbouty’s HVAC system is “pneumatic”. Building occupants can control the thermostat settings in many, but not all, rooms. The university has established summer and winter temperature ranges for all buildings on campus. These are [insert from UES pages] . Exceptions are made for special-purpose rooms, such as computer labs and some research facilities.
Common sense is required to maximize the efficiency of a pneumatically controlled HVAC system. You undermine its effectiveness if you open the windows, leave stairwell and loading dock doors open, bring in space heaters, etc. Please call or email the proctor if your room is too warm or cold; s/he can work with Utilities to repair or adjust the room correctly, rather than your making it worse by trying to fix it yourself.