Chilly at your desk? Be in the know to be more comfortable this winter.
Sitting still at a computer all day can make you feel chilly and leave you wondering what can be done to be more comfortable while working. Heating and cooling systems in a large office building are very different than the ones in your home and there are some tricks to working with the system to feel more comfortable.
Take control of your own comfort.
There are many things you can do to be more comfortable. Give these tips a try and, if you still need help, call Maintenance at x 1120.
Find the thermostat that controls your office.
The thermostat that controls temperature in your space may be inside your office, or may be in a neighbor’s office. Typically, each thermostat controls the temperature for three offices. Not sure which one is yours? Call Maintenance at x1120 for help.
Check for heat-producing equipment near the thermostat.
If there’s a printer, a computer, or a space heater too close to the thermostat, the thermostat will believe the room is too hot and will trigger the building system to send more cooled air into the space. If there’s an appliance nearby, move it as far away from the thermostat as possible.
Adjust the temperature on the thermostat.
Most thermostats in our buildings allow you to adjust the temperature in the space. Keep in mind that adjusting the thermostat will affect all offices that are controlled by that thermostat, so you may need to negotiate with your neighbors.
Layer your clothes
Take advantage of our casual environment by layering on a sweater or fleece before reaching for a space heater. As much as we try to provide a reasonable temperature range for staff comfort, spaces like ours that include office space, labs, computer rooms and kitchens in one building will have some temperature variation.
Beware the unintended consequences of space heaters.
Remember that a space heater produces enough heat to trigger the building to send cold air into your space. If a personal space heater goes head-to-head with the whole building cooling system, the building will win. And, that leaves people feeling cold in their offices – the opposite of what the space heater was trying to accomplish.
Plus, using a space heater uses more energy than heating your office by adjusting the thermostat and layering clothing.
Don’t hesitate to call Maintenance for help at x1120.
More often than not, Maintenance can adjust the airflow to your office and troubleshoot the reason why you’re cold. Many of your colleagues have felt more comfortable after getting assistance.
Most office buildings, including those here at UCAR, are “cooling dominated.” What that means is that we need to run air conditioning more often than we run the heat – including through the winter to remove the excess heat that builds up from computers, printers, electronics, and people, especially from the center of the building. Without air conditioning, parts of the building would overheat and the people in it would be uncomfortable.
Let’s recap: Five steps to improved office comfort.
1. Adjust the thermostat
2. Move heat-producing equipment
3. Avoid the space heater
4. Layer on a sweater or fleece
5. Call Maintenance at x 1120.