Heating and Cooling in Residential Buildings

First-Year Students

Second-Year Students

Graduate Students

Upper-Class Students


Benet Hall

How is my room/apartment heated and cooled?

Each room has a unit, called a fan coil, that delivers warm or cool air by moving air in the room through a small radiator that has either hot or chilled water passing through it. Physical Plant switches this system for the whole building from heating to cooling and back to heating when the outdoor air temperatures justify it. It takes a full day to get the system up and running properly after the switch is made, so Physical Plant cannot switch it back and forth on a daily or weekly basis.

How can I control the temperature?

To adjust the room’s temperature, do the following:
  1. Adjust the dial at the top of the thermostat. As requested by the SJU administration, the adjustable temperature range has been set from 69°F to 77°F. This range applies to both the heating and cooling seasons.
  2. Turn on the fan in the fan coil unit. There is a switch under an access panel on the top of each fan coil unit. (In the basement rooms, there is a toggle switch on the bottom of the unit.) If the switch is turned off, the fan will stop running.

Please note: When leaving for break, make sure the fan is on low and all the windows are closed to keep the room from freezing in the heating season (winter) and to keep the room dehumidified in the cooling season (summer). To save energy, turn the thermostat all the way down when you leave in the heating season and all the way up when you leave in the cooling season. Also, Physical Plant changes the filter in the fan coil unit over the summer and over Christmas break, so make sure that maintenance personnel can easily access it.

What if my room is too hot or too cold?

The normal range of temperatures is ±2°F from the temperature to which the thermostat is set. Keep in mind that the temperature is measured where the thermostat is—your own thermometer may give a different reading. If the temperature in your room falls outside of the appropriate range, first make sure that:

  • the fan switch is turned on,
  • all the windows are shut,
  • the latches on all the windows are locked shut (this helps prevent outside air from leaking through—if you can't lock them, submit a work order request so that the problem can be fixed), and
  • there isn't anything blocking the fan coil unit at the top or bottom vents.

If, after checking these things, the temperature still falls outside the appropriate range, submit a work order request so that Physical Plant can investigate. Please do not rely on opening windows to get your desired room temperature when the system is heating or cooling. This will not solve the problem and may create additional energy waste.

What if I don't like the pre-set temperatures?

If you and all your roommates would like your room to be below 69°F in the heating season or above 77°F in the cooling season, please see this page:

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Bernard Hall

How is my room heated?

Each room has a fin-tube radiator behind a panel on the outside wall. Hot water that is continuously circulated throughout the building passes through this radiator. Cool air enters at the bottom of the panel, becomes heated by the radiator, and exits into the room through the vents at the top of the panel.

How can I control the temperature?

To allow less heat from the radiator into the room, turn the knob on the panel to close the damper to limit the air flow through the radiator. If the room is cold, open the damper and make sure that nothing is blocking the air flow along the bottom of the panel. The hot water temperature that circulates through the radiator is adjusted by Physical Plant according to the outside temperature.

In the cooling season (summer), the lounges and corridors are the only areas that are air-conditioned. For this reason, please do not leave the door and window open in a room simultaneously. This will prevent energy waste. If you would like to take advantage of the air conditioning, close the window and put a fan in the open doorway.

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Boniface Hall

How is my room heated?

Each room has a fin-tube radiator behind a panel on the outside wall. Hot water that is continuously circulated throughout the building passes through this radiator. Cool air enters at the bottom of the panel, becomes heated by the radiator, and exits into the room through the vents at the top of the panel.

How can I control the temperature?

To allow less heat from the radiator into the room, turn the knob on the panel to close the damper to limit the air flow through the radiator. If the room is cold, open the damper and make sure that nothing is blocking the air flow along the bottom of the panel. The hot water temperature that circulates through the radiator is adjusted by Physical Plant according to the outside temperature.

In the cooling season (summer), the lounges and corridors are the only areas that are air-conditioned. For this reason, please do not leave the door and window open in a room simultaneously. This will prevent energy waste. If you would like to take advantage of the air conditioning, close the window and put a fan in the open doorway.

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Edelbrock House

This building is heated by a gas furnace in the basement and is cooled with air conditioning. A residential-style thermostat controls the heating and cooling.

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Emmaus Hall

The radiators in individual rooms have manual controls. The higher the number on the knob, the warmer the room will be.

Most of the basement is air-conditioned, including the basement apartment. Please do not open windows in these areas when the air conditioning is on.

Caution: If the window above the radiator is left open, cool air will fall directly on the radiator control and cause the radiator to heat up. If the outside temperature is below 0°F, the condensate in the bottom of the radiator can freeze and break the radiator.

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Flynntown Apartments

As requested by the SJU administration, the temperatures are set by Physical Plant at 72°F in the winter and 75°F in the summer. The fan on the furnace runs continuously to circulate the air. The heat will not come on until the outside air temperature is 45°F or colder, and the cooling comes on when the outside temperature is 75°F or warmer.

What if my room is too hot or too cold?

The normal range of temperatures is ±2°F from the set temperature: in the winter, this is 69°F to 75°F; in the summer, this is 72°F to 78°F. Keep in mind that the temperature is measured where the thermostat is—your own thermometer may give a different reading. If the temperature in your room or apartment falls outside of the appropriate range, first make sure that:

  • the windows are shut in all rooms in the apartment,
  • the latches on all the windows are locked shut (this helps prevent outside air from leaking through—if you can't lock them, submit a work order request so that the problem can be fixed), and
  • there isn't anything blocking the vents.

If, after checking these things, the temperature still falls outside the appropriate range, submit a work order request so that Physical Plant can investigate. Please do not rely on opening windows to get your desired room temperature when the system is heating or cooling. This will not solve the problem and may create additional energy waste.

What if I don't like the pre-set temperatures?

If you and all your roommates would like your apartment to be below 72°F in the heating season or above 75°F in the cooling season, please see this page:

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Frank House

The radiators in individual rooms have manual controls. The higher the number on the knob, the warmer the room will be.

Caution: If the window above the radiator is left open, cool air will fall directly on the radiator control and cause the radiator to heat up. If the outside temperature is below 0°F, the condensate in the bottom of the radiator can freeze and break the radiator.

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Greg House

The radiators in individual rooms have manual controls. The higher the number on the knob, the warmer the room will be.

Caution: If the window above the radiator is left open, cool air will fall directly on the radiator control and cause the radiator to heat up. If the outside temperature is below 0°F, the condensate in the bottom of the radiator can freeze and break the radiator.

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Joseph Hall

The radiators in individual rooms have manual controls. The higher the number on the knob, the warmer the room will be.

Caution: If the window above the radiator is left open, cool air will fall directly on the radiator control and cause the radiator to heat up. If the outside temperature is below 0°F, the condensate in the bottom of the radiator can freeze and break the radiator.

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Mary Hall

How is my room heated?

Steam circulates through a radiator below the windows in each room.

How can I control the temperature?

A thermostatic control for the heat is located on the outside wall at floor level. The higher the number, the hotter the room will be.

Caution: If struck hard enough this control can be broken off, so be careful when moving furniture or other heavy items near it.

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Maur House

How is my apartment heated and cooled?

Each apartment has two small air handlers in the basement. These supply heating and cooling by using either steam or chilled water from the Power House. Each apartment is broken into two zones to compensate for the temperature difference caused by the sun: rooms on the north side are in one zone, and rooms on the south side are in the other zone. One of the air handlers supplies the north zone, and the other supplies the south zone.

How is the temperature controlled?

The temperatures from all the rooms in a zone are averaged, and the temperature of the air coming out of the vents is based on the average temperature. The set point (the temperature to which the thermostats are set) of the zone is controlled from a computer at Physical Plant. As requested by the SJU administration, the thermostats are set to maintain 75°F in the summer and 72°F in the winter. The fans run continuously to keep the air circulating.

What if my room is too hot or too cold?

Keep in mind that the temperatures of all the rooms in a zone are averaged, so if someone has their window open or is running a space heater and causes their room to give an extremely different temperature reading from all the other rooms, the other rooms in that zone will be affected.

The normal range of temperatures is ±2°F from the set temperature: in the summer, this is 73°F to 77°F; in the winter, this is 70°F to 74°F. Remember that the temperature is measured where the thermostat is—your own thermometer may give a different reading. If the temperature falls outside this range, first make sure that:

  • the windows are shut in all rooms in the apartment,
  • the latches on all the windows are locked shut (this helps prevent outside air from leaking through—if you can't lock them, submit a work order request so that the problem can be fixed), and
  • there isn't anything blocking the the vents.

If, after checking these things, the temperature still falls outside the appropriate range, submit a work order request so that Physical Plant can investigate. Please do not rely on opening windows to get your desired room temperature when the system is heating or cooling. This will not solve the problem and may create additional energy waste.

Caution: Please do not adjust the vents in the rooms, as this will affect the entire balance of the heating and cooling system.

What if I don't like the pre-set temperatures?

If you and all your roommates would like your apartment to be below 72°F in the heating season or above 75°F in the cooling season, please see this page:

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Metten Court

Each apartment has a gas furnace and air conditioner. As requested by the SJU administration, Physical Plant sets the temperatures at 72°F in the winter and 75°F in the summer. If windows are left open, the system will heat or cool to try to maintain these set temperatures, which wastes energy and money.

The air conditioning comes on when the outdoor temperature is greater than 70°F, and the heat comes on when the outdoor temperature is less than 50°F.

What if my room is too hot or too cold?

The normal range of temperatures is ±2°F from the set temperature: in the winter, this is 70°F to 74°F; in the summer, this is 73°F to 77°F. Keep in mind that the temperature is measured where the thermostat is—your own thermometer may give a different reading. If the temperature falls outside this range, first make sure that:

  • the windows are shut in all rooms in the apartment,
  • the latches on all the windows are locked shut (this helps prevent outside air from leaking through—if you can't lock them, submit a work order request so that the problem can be fixed), and
  • there isn't anything blocking the the vents.

If, after checking these things, the temperature still falls outside the appropriate range, submit a work order request so that Physical Plant can investigate. Please do not rely on opening windows to get your desired room temperature when the system is heating or cooling. This will not solve the problem and may create additional energy waste.

What if I don't like the pre-set temperatures?

If you and all your roommates would like your apartment to be below 72°F in the heating season or above 75°F in the cooling season, please see this page:

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Patrick Hall

How is my room heated?

Each room has a fin-tube radiator behind a panel on the outside wall. Hot water that is continuously circulated throughout the building passes through this radiator. Cool air enters at the bottom of the panel, becomes heated by the radiator, and exits into the room through the vents at the top of the panel.

How can I control the temperature?

To allow less heat from the radiator into the room, turn the knob on the panel to close the damper to limit the air flow through the radiator. If the room is cold, open the damper and make sure that nothing is blocking the air flow along the bottom of the panel. The hot water temperature that circulates through the radiator is adjusted by Physical Plant according to the outside temperature.

In the cooling season (summer), the lounges and corridors are the only areas that are air-conditioned. For this reason, please do not leave the door and window open in a room simultaneously. This will prevent energy waste. If you would like to take advantage of the air conditioning, close the window and put a fan in the open doorway.

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Placid House

How is my apartment heated and cooled?

Each apartment has two small air handlers in the basement. These supply heating and cooling by using either steam or chilled water from the Power House. Each apartment is broken into two zones to compensate for the temperature difference caused by the sun: rooms on the north side are in one zone, and rooms on the south side are in the other zone. One of the air handlers supplies the north zone, and the other supplies the south zone.

How is the temperature controlled?

The temperatures from all the rooms in a zone are averaged, and the temperature of the air coming out of the vents is based on the average temperature. The set point (the temperature to which the thermostats are set) of the zone is controlled from a computer at Physical Plant. As requested by the SJU administration, the thermostats are set to maintain 75°F in the summer and 72°F in the winter. The fans run continuously to keep the air circulating.

What if my room is too hot or too cold?

Keep in mind that the temperatures of all the rooms in a zone are averaged, so if someone has their window open or is running a space heater and causes their room to give an extremely different temperature reading from all the other rooms, the other rooms in that zone will be affected.

The normal range of temperatures is ±2°F from the set temperature: in the summer, this is 73°F to 77°F; in the winter, this is 70°F to 74°F. Remember that the temperature is measured where the thermostat is—your own thermometer may give a different reading. If the temperature falls outside this range, first make sure that:

  • the windows are shut in all rooms in the apartment,
  • the latches on all the windows are locked shut (this helps prevent outside air from leaking through—if you can't lock them, submit a work order request so that the problem can be fixed), and
  • there isn't anything blocking the the vents.

If, after checking these things, the temperature still falls outside the appropriate range, submit a work order request so that Physical Plant can investigate. Please do not rely on opening windows to get your desired room temperature when the system is heating or cooling. This will not solve the problem and may create additional energy waste.

Caution: Please do not adjust the vents in the rooms, as this will affect the entire balance of the heating and cooling system.

What if I don't like the pre-set temperatures?

If you and all your roommates would like your apartment to be below 72°F in the heating season or above 75°F in the cooling season, please see this page:

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Seton Apartments

How is my apartment heated?

Every room has a baseboard electric heater, and there is a dehumidifier that vents hot air into the basement. This dehumidifier must run continuously, or else mold will grow in the apartment.

How can I control the temperature?

The baseboard heater in each room has a thermostat attached to it that controls the temperature of the room. The hot air coming from the dehumidifier cannot be controlled.

How is the humidity kept under control?

Each apartment has a dehumidifier in the basement hall closet. This needs to be kept running to keep the basement dry and to prevent mold from growing. The bathroom and shower room fans also run continuously to vent additional moisture.

How can I help Saint John's save energy?

If you open the sliding door on the upper floor of the apartment is opened, please turn the thermostats down to save electricity. Otherwise, the heated air will rise to the top floor and flow right out of the apartment.

On sunny winter days, leave the shades open to maximize solar gain. At night and on cloudy winter days, close the blinds to help  keep the heat in.

What else do I need to know?

Please keep the ceiling fan turned on so that the humidity and temperature is in balance throughout the apartment. The fan should be running backwards so that it pulls air out of the basement.

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Thomas Hall

How is my room heated?

Each room has a fin-tube radiator behind a panel on the outside wall. Hot water that is continuously circulated throughout the building passes through this radiator. Cool air enters at the bottom of the panel, becomes heated by the radiator, and exits into the room through the vents at the top of the panel.

How can I control the temperature?

To allow less heat from the radiator into the room, turn the knob on the panel to close the damper to limit the air flow through the radiator. If the room is cold, open the damper and make sure that nothing is blocking the air flow along the bottom of the panel. The hot water temperature that circulates through the radiator is adjusted by Physical Plant according to the outside temperature.

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Vincent Court

How is my apartment heated and cooled?

Each apartment has its own residential-style gas furnace and air conditioner. Each floor of the apartment is considered a separate zone, and the temperatures are averaged for each zone.

How is the temperature controlled?

As requested by the SJU administration, Physical Plant has set the thermostats to maintain 72°F for heating and 75°F for cooling. The fan on the furnace runs continuously to circulate the air. The heat will not come on until the outside air temperature is 45°F or colder, and the cooling comes on when the outside temperature is 75°F or warmer. If any floor is calling for heating or cooling, the furnace or air conditioner will run. The system controls will only allow the floor that is calling for heating or cooling to get the full amount of air required.

What if my room is too hot or too cold?

Keep in mind that the temperatures of all the rooms in a zone are averaged, so if someone has their window open or is running a space heater and causes their room to give an extremely different temperature reading, the other rooms in that zone will be affected. If the windows are open, the furnace or air conditioner will either heat or cool to maintain the set temperatures.

The normal range of temperatures is ±2°F from the set temperature: in the winter, this is 70°F to 74°F; in the summer, this is 73°F to 77°F. Remember that the temperature is measured where the thermostat is—your own thermometer may give a different reading. If the temperature falls outside this range, first make sure that:

  • the windows are shut in all rooms in the apartment,
  • the latches on all the windows are locked shut (this helps prevent outside air from leaking through—if you can't lock them, submit a work order request so that the problem can be fixed), and
  • there isn't anything blocking the the vents and the vents are open.

If, after checking these things, the temperature still falls outside the appropriate range, submit a work order request so that Physical Plant can investigate. Please do not rely on opening windows to get your desired room temperature when the system is heating or cooling. This will not solve the problem and may create additional energy waste.

Caution: Please do not adjust the vents in the rooms, as this will affect the entire balance of the heating and cooling system.

What if I don't like the pre-set temperatures?

If you and all your roommates would like your apartment to be below 72°F in the heating season or above 75°F in the cooling season, please see this page:

Return to top

Virgil Michel House

How is my room heated and cooled?

Radiant heating is the main source of heat in each room. Each room also has a separate supply that brings in fresh air and chilled air for air conditioning. The temperature of this air is set at 55°F or above, depending on the room temperature.

How is the temperature controlled?

Each bedroom has an adjustable thermostat built into the radiant heating unit that controls the heat. The heating thermostat can be found at the beginning of the heating unit. If you are unsure of how to adjust the heat, please contact Physical Plant.

The thermostat on the wall is only for the air conditioning throughout your apartment and the heating in your apartment’s common spaces. As requested by the SJU administration, this thermostat has been pre-set to keep the temperature of the apartment at 72°F, and it usually does not need adjusting.

What if my room is too hot or too cold?

The normal range of temperatures is ±2°F from the set temperature; in the winter and in the summer, this is 70°F to 74°F. Keep in mind that the temperature is measured where the thermostat is—your own thermometer may give a different reading. If the temperature falls outside this range, first make sure that:

  • the windows are shut in all rooms in the apartment,
  • the latches on all the windows are locked shut (this helps prevent outside air from leaking through—if you can't lock them, submit a work order request so that the problem can be fixed), and
  • the radiant heat source is not covered or blocked with furniture or other items.

If, after checking these things, the temperature still falls outside the appropriate range, submit a work order request so that Physical Plant can investigate. Please do not rely on opening windows to get your desired room temperature when the system is heating or cooling. This will not solve the problem and may create additional energy waste.

What if I don't like the pre-set temperatures?

If you and all your roommates would like your apartment to be below 72°F in the heating season or above 72°F in the cooling season, please see this page:

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