Published: Oct. 28, 2020

winterWith the weather starting to get colder in Boulder, you may be wondering how to keep your residence hall room warmer during the winter months. Each hall is a little bit different so we encourage you to learn about the general heating tips for your hall.

If you live in Hallett, Willard, Cheyenne Arapaho or Libby:

General heating tips

  • Keep furniture, carpeting and clothing from blocking air vents, so air can flow freely.

  • Make sure your windows are sealed to prevent heat loss.

  • Utilize passive cooling and heating, with the sun. At altitude, the sun makes a big difference in temperature. To cool your space easily, keep the windows and blinds closed while the sun is up.

  • At sunset, open up the windows and let cool air in.

  • This building is heated by radiant heating - hot water running through pipes that “radiate” heat to the room.

  • You have thermostats in every room, usually connected to the dial at the base of the radiator.

    • These dials have a number range like “1-10”, with the middle of the range always indicating the most comfortable temperature - 72 degrees.

  • These buildings have a group heating system, which means that thermostats measuring and regulating the temperature are only found in some rooms, and control the heat in their neighboring rooms.

    • We call these rooms with thermostats “control rooms.” Every control room should have a sticker on the door marking it as a control room, and providing recommendations for the residents to use in keeping their hall at a comfortable temperature. Despite this, when rooms in these buildings have issues, they are usually related to the control room. 

    • Blueprints for these buildings, with control rooms marked with a “T,” are available upon request.

If you live in Sewall, Farrand or the Quad:

General heating tips

  • Keep furniture, carpeting or clothing from blocking air vents, so air can flow freely.

  • Make sure your windows are sealed to prevent heat loss.

  • Utilize passive cooling and heating, with the sun. At altitude, the sun makes a big difference in temperature. To cool your space easily, keep the windows and blinds closed while the sun is up.

  • At sunset, open up the windows and let cool air in.

  • This building is heated by radiant heating - hot water running through pipes that “radiate” heat to the room.

  • You have thermostats in every room, usually connected to the dial at the base of the radiator.

    • These dials have a number range like “1-10”, with the middle of the range always indicating the most comfortable temperature - 72 degrees.

Tips for radiant heating by room

Live at the end of the hall? You may need a higher temperature setting.

  • Because radiant heat uses hot water that loses heat as it moves through the building, the water that reaches you might bit less hot than it was when it was first heated.

Is the room too hot? It might be the sensor.

  • The sensors are sensitive to temperature – that’s what makes them work. This means that over time, the sensor’s exposure to heat degrades it, causing it to malfunction. If the thermostat is unresponsive, submit a FixIt! Request saying so.

Don’t use the windows to “fix” heating issues.

  • In these buildings if you leave the window open, often the heating system will ramp up to compensate for the dropping temperature - wasting a LOT of energy. As a general rule, this means you shouldn’t open a window to try to regulate a too hot space unless you absolutely have to – often it will make the problem worse.