Energy saving tips for the holidays from Columbia University Facilities and Operations

Dear Members of the Columbia Community:

With the holidays approaching and many of us planning to spend some time away from the office, Columbia University Facilities would like to remind you that you can help save energy and prevent loss or damage of your property while you are out and throughout the winter.

Here are a few simple things you can do to help before leaving your office for vacation and at the end of each day:

  • Close and lock all windows and doors, and close blinds and curtains. (Be sure to close all windows, including windows that are in spaces that are not normally occupied. It is in these "forgotten" rooms that, in addition to wasting energy, an open window can result in a freezing and split pipe and resulting damage.)

  • Turn off lights in offices or any shared areas such as conference rooms, break rooms, restrooms and classrooms.

  • Leave all radiator valves and fan coils turned on to ensure adequate heating and to avoid freeze damage. Fan coils should be set to the slowest speed setting.

  • Clear clothing or furniture away from heaters to avoid inadequate heating that may cause freeze-ups and damage.

  • Shut down and unplug appliances such as computers, printers, faxes, copiers, space heaters and coffeemakers.

  • Make sure all faucets are off.

  • Close fume hoods when not in use and shut down non-essential lab equipment.

  • Secure or remove all valuables.

  • Report problems such as leaks, opened windows or doors that cannot be closed to the Facilities Services Center at x4-2222.

These few simple energy saving steps will help protect your property, reduce utility costs and help the University reduce its carbon footprint. Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact your Facilities Service Representative or the Facilities Services Center at x4-2222. Wishing you a happy and healthy new year!

Frank Martino
Vice President, Operations
Columbia University Facilities