Winter Heating 101

January 21, 2011

A one-time tinker with your programmable thermostat can result in significant savings, in line with the Yale Sustainability Strategic Plan’s dual goals of saving on financial resources and decreasing energy consumption. Facilities guidelines identify 68°-70° as an appropriate temperature for occupied Yale buildings, and 65° for unoccupied buildings; one can take five minutes to set a space’s thermostat to automatically maintain a temperature of 68° each day, and automatically drop down to 65° each night.  Since the EPA reports that  turning the thermostat down by 10°–15° for a setback period of at least eight hours can save 5%-15% on yearly heating and cooling bills (as much as 1% for every degree lowered), the literal click of a button can result in impressive savings for the University in emissions and dollars. Strategic temperature setting also helps avoid the use of space heaters, which are not only dangerous, but inefficient in heating Yale buildings. To achieve energy efficiency and temperature comfort this winter, your workspace’s programmable thermostat (and the occasional sweater) is your greatest ally.