Green Living - Conservation
Conservation begins at home. Learn here how to conserve by effectively managing our use of heating, cooling, and water.
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Heating & Cooling
Why It Is Important to Use Our Thermostats Correctly
Water circulates from our rooftop pump system to the individual fan coil units (FCUs) that heat and cool each room in our apartments. The thermostats in each room control that heating and cooling. When we modify the temperature on our thermostats, we prompt the fan coils in that room to operate.
The FCU turns on when there is more than two degrees difference between the room temperature displayed on the thermostat and the set temperature. By minimizing frequent thermostat changes minimizes FCU operation and power consumption.
Since the thermostat receives a wireless signal from a sensor placed on the FCU, do not place any solid object in front of the sensor that it will block communication between it and the thermostat and could conceivably result in unecessary FCU operation.
Keep heat sources like candles and incandescent bulbs away from the thermostat because they generate heat that will cause the thermostat to register a higher temperature than the true room temperature and the fan will run, wasting energy.
Please do not open doors or windows when the fan coils are operating. In fact, consider closing curtains and/or blinds to keep out the sun in summer, and opening them in winter for some heat from the sun.
Going Away from Home?
If you are going to be away from your home, you should set the thermostat on AUTO with a temperature setting of 65 degrees in the winter and 72 degrees in the summer. If you do not set the thermostat properly during summer, the humidity can warp wood floors. If you set the thermostat too low in the winter, the water in your FCU can freeze and then flood when it thaws.
Thermostats contain four AA batteries that our environmental staff changes during the semi-annual preventative maintenance. If the batteries fail before that time, you will see a battery icon at the top of the display panel on the thermostat and the display will be dimmed. Call Maintenance to replace the batteries. There is no charge for changing the batteries.
Philadelphia's water-treatment plants produce drinking water that meets federal guidelines that requires regular testing. This water is safer to use than bottled water, which studies have shown can contain microplastic particles.
Water is a precious resource, and steps we take to conserve are beneficial in numerous ways. Steps you can take include:
- Report leaking faucets and running toilets to Management to have them repaired. A leaking faucet can waste up to 100 gallons a day.
- Take shorter showers. A 10-minute shower uses 50 gallons of water. Shut water off while soaping to reduce shower time.
- Turn off water while brushing your teeth or shaving.
- Replace toilets with high-performance low-flow toilets that use 1.6 gallons or less.
- Older toilets can be turned into water-savers by placing in the toilet tank the largest- sized plastic container that will not interfere with the operation of the toilet. Then fill the container with small stones and water to weigh it down and screw the top on tightly.
- Replace shower heads with low-flow heads and periodically soak shower heads in vinegar to dissolve mineral build-up.
- Run dishwasher and clothes washer only when full. When purchasing new equipment, choose Energy Star appliances to save water and energy.
- Dishwashers save water if properly used and clean dishes better than hand washing but hand washing is acceptable for single use occasions.
- Store used cooking fats in a container and place it in the trash, not down the drain.
- Heat only the quantity of liquid you want to boil.
- Don’t waste water by leaving it running unnecessarily when washing dishes or brushing your teeth.
- Use the warm or cold setting instead of the hot setting to wash clothes. You will use 30 % less energy and your clothes will last longer.
- Keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator to avoid running the faucet water to get cold water.