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Space Comfort Guidelines and Facts

Heating & Cooling Space Temperature Set Points:

Macalester’s Facilities Services department has established temperature set points of 70 F for the winter and 74 F for the summer. These set points have been chosen to maximize overall occupant comfort and optimize our energy efficiency. These set points are well within state and federal guidelines for commercial buildings.

Please do what you can to help Macalester reduce our energy consumption:

  • Keep heat-producing devices, such as computer monitors, printers, and coffee pots, away from temperature sensors and thermostats. These devices can artificially increase the local air temperature causing the HVAC system to reduce the flow of heat or increase the flow of cooled air to the entire suite, floor, or building.
  • Keep windows closed. Modern commercial building heating and cooling systems rely on spaces being pressurized and controlled introduction of outdoor air. Open windows make systems work harder to pressurize the building and maintain temperature setpoints.
  • Do not use portable space heaters.  First and foremost, these devices are a fire hazard.  They are capable of igniting combustible materials and overloading electrical circuits.  They also waste electricity and impede the building’s HVAC system’s ability to maintain comfort settings. By using one of these devices you can inadvertently be making those around you thermally uncomfortable.
  • If we are unable to maintain the space temperature of your area within the stated guidelines, portable heaters may be considered as a temporary remedy.
  • Unapproved portable heaters will be removed. 
  • If you suspect that your heating or cooling is not working properly, please enter a work ticket using TopDesk. Your input will help Facilities Services identify and correct problems we may not otherwise know about.

Helpful hints when a space feels too cool or warm:

  • Dress in layers. Keep a light jacket, sweater, or blazer on hand so you can adjust clothing layers as needed.
  • Consider the use of a small personal fan, which can provide cooling relief without using a lot of energy.
  • Give yourself a break.  Periodically stretch your legs and move around.  Body movement generates heat and promotes health.  Sitting for long periods has been shown to be bad for long term health.
  • Sipping a cool or warm beverage can sometimes be a helpful assist in regulating body temperature.

See for more information regarding Macalester’s energy conservation initiatives. For additional questions or information about these initiatives contact Mike Pumroy, Energy Manger or Matt Meyer, Director of Operations and Maintenance.