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Energy Use and Conservation

It’s easy to conserve energy, and collective action adds up fast.  Below you will find energy conservation tips for offices, residence halls, and common spaces.  You will also find guidelines for operating office and dorm thermostats.

Quick Tips for Conserving Energy

  • Turn off computers (or send them into hibernate) every night (computers do not need to stay "on" to receive software updates).  Enable automatic power management on your machine:  have your monitor turn off after 10 minutes of inactivity, and have your computer enter standby after 20 minutes.  Enable hibernation after 1 hour of inactivity for additional savings; hibernate mode uses almost as little energy as turning a computer off.  Click here for instructions on enabling automatic power management for both Windows and Mac.
  • Turn off lights when not in use; utilize natural lighting whenever possible.
  • Turn off all appliances and office equipment when not in use.  This includes printers, copiers, chargers, scanners, fax machines, and coffee makers. 
  • Use power strips! Electronic devices draw power even when "off," this "vampire power" can account for up to 10% of energy usage (US EPA).  Computers, printers, copiers, and televisions are some of the worst offenders; plug electronic devices into central power strips and shut them off at the end of the day, or simply keep them off and unplugged when not in use.
  • Don’t overload refrigerators; they operate more efficiently when air circulation is not restricted.

Heating and Cooling Guidelines

  • Read about the HLS Temperature Policy on the Commitments and Policies page.  During the day HLS heats buildings to 70°F and cools them to 74°F.
  • In order for rooms to be heated or cooled properly, air must be free to flow from the heating/cooling unit.
  • When rooms are being heated or cooled, ensure that all windows are tightly closed.
  • Keep equipment that emits heat (printers, coffee makers, refrigerators, etc) away from thermostats; otherwise they may cause inaccurate temperature readings, resulting in incorrect space heating and cooling.
  • Do not prop open exterior doors, even for short periods of time.
  • Space heaters are not permitted at Harvard, as they are fire hazards as well as inefficient producers of heat.  In addition, space heaters decrease the efficacy of the building heating system by causing isolated thermostats to register a temperature higher than the temperature of the overall space. 

Tips for Cold Weather

  • Keep blinds and curtains open during the day for solar gain; keep them closed at night for insulation.
  • Wear warm layers for extra insulation; keep an extra sweater or scarf handy in your office or backpack for particularly chilly days.
  • In all spaces, and particularly in the Gropius dormitories (Ames, Dane, Holmes, Shaw), it is extremely important that air be free to flow to and from the heating unit; do not restrict airflow with books, beds, desks, and other items.

Tips for Warm Weather

  • Keep blinds and curtains closed during the day to block direct sunlight.
  • Use compact fluorescent light bulbs in desk lamps— CFLs not only use less electricity and last longer, they also give off less heat than incandescent bulbs (which release 95% of their energy as heat).  To obtain bulbs, contact the HLS Sustainability Coordinator at sustainability@lists.law.harvard.edu.
  • Turn off personal fans when you are not in the room. Fans only circulate air; they do not cool it. If you can’t feel the fan, it is not helping you stay cool.
  • Offices- make sure the air conditioning shuts off at the end of each day.

Using Your Thermostat

Thermostat ranges are set in support of the HLS Temperature Policy (70°F during the heating season and 74°F during the cooling season).  For more information about the HLS Temperature Policy, please visit the Commitments and Policies page.  Find your building below for more information about thermostat operation, after hours energy conservation, and after hours overrides.  If you can't find what you're looking for, contact Facilities Management at facmgmt@law.harvard.edu or 617-495-5521.

Areeda, Langdell

General Information

Turning the dial to the right increases room temperature;  turning it to the left decreases temperature.  The sliding tab on the bottom of the thermostat panel controls fan operation.  Leaving this tab at "AUTO" is recommended; it automatically sets fan speed to maximize energy efficiency.  The fan may also be set to "OFF," "LO," "MED," or "HI."  The red LED light on the bottom right of the thermostat should be on during normal business hours.  

After Hours/Weekends/Breaks

Thermostats will automatically go to unoccupied setback temperatures based on an occupancy schedule or an occupancy sensor detecting presence in the office.  To further increase energy savings occupants are encouraged to set their dials to "-5" during the heating season (winter) and to "+5" during the cooling season (summer) whenever they are leaving their office.  

Weekend/Holiday Overrides

If you are working after hours and need heating or cooling, and the LED light is not on, press the override button on the bottom right of the thermostat to initiate a two hour override period.  After pressing the override button, adjust dial and fan speed.

Austin, Hauser

 

 

 

 

 

General Information

Flip open the thermostat cover [left photo].  Move the sliding bar on the left up or down to raise or lower desired temperature [middle left photo].  Slide bars all the way to the top if you'd like to heat your space to the highest temperature within range of the HLS Temperature policy (70°F in winter).  Slide it all the way down if you'd like to cool it to the lowest temperature within range of our policy (74°F in summer).  Note that the numbers on the small thermometer in the middle of the panel do not represent a desired setpoint, but correspond to the current actual temperature reading in the room.

The fan speed dial will be located either near the thermostat or on the HVAC unit itself.  If your room is not reaching its set point, try increasing the unit fan speed by moving the control dial. Note that even fans labeled "Air Conditioner" (as above), also circulate warm air and must be used in the winter to achieve full heating.

After Hours/Weekends/Breaks

Thermostats will automatically go to unoccupied setback temperatures based on an occupancy schedule or an occupancy sensor detecting presence in the office. To further increase energy savings occupants are encouraged to slide the temperature bars down to the very bottom during the heating season (winter) and all the way to the top during the cooling season (summer) as well as turn the fan speed to "OFF."   Rooms will take a little time to adjust back to workday set points in the morning, but energy savings from conservation in this manner are substantial.

Weekend/Holiday Overrides

If you are working after hours and need heating or cooling, press the override button on the bottom right corner of the thermostat panel for a two hour override.  After pressing the override button, adjust slide bar and fan speed.  

23 Everett Street 

General Information 

Thermostats and fan speed controls are generally located on top of HVAC units in each office and in hallways.  In some locations thermostats can be found on walls, separate from HVAC unit (fan speed) controls.

After Hours/Weekends/Breaks

During the heating season (winter), occupants should lower  thermostats to "cooler" and turn fans to "LO."  Rooms will take a little time to adjust back to workday set points in the morning, but energy savings from conservation in this manner are substantial.

Weekend/Holiday Overrides

If you are working after hours and need heating or cooling, press the appropriate zone override button, located in your hallway, for a two hour system override.  Adjust thermostat and fan speed as necessary.  Remember to turn fans to "LO" and reverse settings before leaving.

125 Mt. Auburn

General Information 

Flip open the thermostat cover.  Move the sliding bar on the left up or down to raise or lower desired temperature.  Slide bars all the way to the top if you'd like to heat your space to the highest temperature within range of the HLS Temperature policy (70°F in winter).  Slide it all the way down if you'd like to cool it to the lowest temperature within range of our policy (74°F in summer).  Note that the numbers on the small thermometer in the middle of the panel do not line up horizontally to the sliding bar on the left.

After Hours/Weekends/Breaks

During the heating season (winter), set office/area thermostats to their lowest setting.  Rooms will take a little time to adjust back to workday set points in the morning, but energy savings from conservation in this manner are substantial.

Weekend/Holiday Overrides

Thirty minute override buttons are located on thermostats; press and then adjust temperature.  Remember to reverse settings before leaving.

Gannett House

General Information 

Thermostats in Gannett House automatically maintain space temperature set points as defined by the HLS Temperature Policy.  Fans are also automatically controlled to maintain the space temperature setpoint and will shut off automatically when space temperatures are satisfied.

After Hours/Weekends/Breaks

Thermostats will automatically go to unoccupied setback temperatures based on an occupancy schedule or an occupancy sensor detecting presence in the office. Rooms will take a little time to adjust back to workday set points in the morning, but energy savings from conservation in this manner are substantial.

Weekend/Holiday Overrides

Occupancy sensors will detect presence in the building during weekend and holiday hours and automatically activate the heating and cooling systems.  It may take a little time for space temperatures to reach setpoint.

Griswold Hall, Pound

General Information

There are a few different types of thermostats in Griswold and Pound.   Many thermostats in Griswold and Pound do not have fan speed switches.  Set thermostats to temperatures within range of the HLS Temperature Policy (70 °F during cold weather, 74°F during warm weather).  

After Hours/Weekends/Breaks

During the heating season (winter) occupants should set room/area thermostats to 60°F. During the cooling season (summer) occupants should set room/area thermostats to 80°F.  Rooms will take a little time to adjust back to workday set points in the morning, but energy savings from conservation in this manner are substantial.  Rooms with the thermostats shown in the far right image will set back automatically; no action by occupants is required.

Weekend/Holiday Overrides

Occupants of Griswold should view this attachment for instructions on activating their thermostats during weekend and holiday hours.  

Heating and cooling for Pound is available during weekend and holiday hours and occupants should set their thermostats to the desired setpoints if they are working during these hours.

Wasserstein Hall

There are two types of thermostats in WCC. Both styles of thermostats allow occupants to control their offices within the Law Schools temperature policy. Operation and description of each thermostat is below.

If your office thermostat looks like this:

 

You may adjust the temperature within seasonal set points by using ˆ and ˇ buttons. Press > for enter.

The fan to circulate air is controlled automatically and is turned off during “Unoccupied” hours or if you window is open. The fan speed button is not applicable. You may override the fan on during off-peak hours by pressing the sun/moon button once which will adjust temperature to the occupied settings for two hours.

 

  

 If your thermostat looks like this:

 

 

You may adjust the temperature within seasonal set points by using the temperature slide.

The fan to circulate air comes from the main air handling units. These fans automatically control during building hours.

 

 

One of the building’s energy-efficiency technologies is occupancy sensors in all offices that perform lighting and temperature energy efficiency functions.

Occupancy sensors activate heating/cooling to turn on when you enter the room, and allow room temperature to drift towards unoccupied set points when room is unoccupied.  There will be brief delay between entering the room and hearing the unit switch on. After being out of the office for an extended period of time, please be patient, upon your return it will take a few minutes for your space to warm up or cool down.

Note for offices with operable windows: Your office heating and cooling system is connected to your windows and will not operate when windows are open. Make sure your window is closed and latched to activate the magnetic sensor which will enable proper temperature control functioning.

Lewis International Legal Center

General Information

Still in Development

After Hours/Weekends/Breaks

Lower thermostats to 60°F.  Rooms will take a little time to adjust back to workday set points in the morning, but energy savings from conservation in this manner are substantial.

Weekend/Holiday Overrides

Occupants should contact Facilities Management at 617-495-5521.

North Hall

The thermostat must be in “auto” to control room temperature; this mode is controlled by the OFF/AUTO button.

Press the up and down arrows to select a desired room temperature, or “set point.”  Press DISPLAY to toggle between the room set point and the actual room temperature.  Adjust fan speed by pressing the FAN button; fans help circulate air. 

A door mounted sensor allows the thermostat to automatically adjust settings to conserve energy when the room is empty. 

 

HLS Apartments (1637 Massachusetts Ave., Baker, Carriage)

Press the up and down arrows to select a desired room temperature, or “set point.”  Fans must be running for room air conditioning to work.  To turn air conditioning fan on or off, press and hold the sun/moon button for 3 seconds.  There will be a 10-15 second delay before the fan turns on or off. 

Air conditioning is generally available to North Hall and the HLS apartments between mid May and mid September.  However, please note that the availability of air conditioning is contingent upon outside air temperatures.  During the spring and fall when temperatures vary, If rooms or apartments are warmer than outside air, residents are expected to use windows to allow cool air into their rooms.

When away for long weekends and holiday breaks, set thermostats back to 60-64°F during the heating season, and up to 80°F during the cooling season.  Rooms will take a little time to readjust upon your return, but energy savings from conservation in this manner are substantial.

Last modified: November 06, 2014

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