You may have noticed the mechanics in your living areas working in the basement of the buildings. The heat has been turned on in all buildings. To control the temperature in your apartment, you can use the thermostat or individual radiator controls. In Eagle Heights and Harvey Street, thermostats are on the living room or hallway walls inside your apartment. In University Houses there is a control on each radiator located behind the panel, at the bottom of the radiator. Thermostats have a gauge on the bottom that indicates the current temperature of the room and it has a dial on the top that can be adjusted to the desired heat setting. The heat can be increased approximately to 72 degrees Fahrenheit, about 22 degrees Celsius. In University Houses, the control should be turned to the left to turn the heat on and turned to the right to turn the heat off. Sometimes when the radiators are heating up, a knocking or clicking sound can be heard, which is normal for the heating system in University Apartments. This is usually due to the expansion of the heating pipes. Watch this video to see how to adjust your heat in all of our apartments: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwPW1FvhJpE&list=PLDok2LhjjWbh0ovN3YpxMwDdoXwiuYMQG&index=7
To help keep the heat in the apartment and circulate well, be sure to:
Keep the windows closed at all times
Many residents come from climates where windows are always kept partially or completely open for fresh air. Some countries have heating systems where closed windows are considered dangerous or unhealthy. For our heating systems the windows do not need to be kept open. Actually if your windows are open, even a very small amount, it may be hard to keep your home comfortable and your apartment may call for heat more often, impacting your neighbors and the energy efficiency of the system.
Air conditioners should be removed from the wall
Uncovered air conditioner “sleeves” in the wall do not provide protection from the cold. It is impossible to keep your apartment warm unless the air conditioner is removed, and the covering placed in the wall. If Apartments staff installed your air conditioner, removal is included in the fee you already paid. If you installed the air conditioner yourself, Apartments Staff will remove it and close up the opening for $40 (billed to your UW Housing account). If you prefer to do the work yourself, you just need to remove the air conditioner unit, insulate the opening with the foam block that was in the sleeve originally, and then place the cover over the opening. If you no longer have the insulation that was in the sleeve when you moved in, styrofoam or “batting” material can be purchased at local hardware stores.
Keep furniture away from the walls
Our heating systems are radiant, or circulating hot water, not forced air. Furnishings must not be obstructing your convectors (for example if your bed is too close to your bedroom convectors, your room will be colder as the convector will be heating up the bed frame). Typically, keeping furniture or other items 3-4 inches away from the convectors is sufficient.
Special Heating Notes
Use additional clothing
It is a good idea to wear more layers of clothing during the winter months in order to feel warmer. Also, having a few cozy blankets around would be helpful and warming. Also, when stepping outside keep warm and wear gloves and hats along with other winter gear to protect against frostbite and harsh, cold weather. Fingers can freeze very quickly in -10 degrees Fahrenheit weather especially if there are windchills. Last year we had winter days getting as low as -30 degrees Fahrenheit.
Studies have indicated that you sleep a lot better when your room is colder. The ideal ambient temperature for sleeping is around 60 to 67F degrees. However, everyone has a different tolerance to heat and cold conditions.