Save Energy and Protect Your Property this Winter Holiday Season

Dear Members of the Columbia Community:

With the holidays approaching and many of us planning to spend some time away from campus, Columbia University Facilities and Operations 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 home or office for the holiday season:

  • Take precautions.

    • Close and lock all windows, including in spaces not normally occupied. (It is in these "forgotten" rooms that, in addition to wasting energy, an open window can cause freezing and split pipes and resulting damage. It may be useful to designate someone to this task so it is not forgotten.)
    • 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. If you have questions about valve or coil settings, please contact the Facilities Services Center at x4-2222.
    • Clear clothing or furniture away from heaters to avoid inadequate heating that may cause freeze-ups and damage.
    • Make sure all faucets are off.
    • Close fume hoods when not in use and shut down non-essential lab equipment.
  • Be responsible. Limit the use of automatic doors during the cold winter season.  Many people who can open doors manually may use the automated door openers out of habit.  Manually operating doors reduces the amount of heat that escapes and saves energy.

  • Be in touch. If you see an unsafe condition including leaks, opened windows and doors, or other issues, please immediately call our Facilities Services Center at 212-854-2222.  We are open 24/7 and are prepared to handle your calls.

  • Be careful. Safety is our priority - use caution when navigating around campus during the icy winter months.

These few simple steps will help protect your property and prevent burst pipes and other building issues. We appreciate your support and patience as we work together to keep our campus safe, beautiful and functional. Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the Facilities Services Center at x4-2222.

Thank you and happy holidays!


Frank Martino
Vice President, Operations
Columbia University Facilities and Operations