Top 5 Misconceptions About Office Comfort

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We read each and every TherMOOstat comment you send us. From these responses, and from talking to people around campus, we are seeing some common misconceptions about office comfort. We'd like to explain why comfort in campus buildings is a little tricky and expand your views of comfort on campus. 

 

1. I feel a draft, which means the AC is on.

This isn't always true. We get a lot of TherMOOstat comments about the air conditioning (AC) system being on when it shouldn't be (ie, in winter). In fact, California code regulates that we ventilate spaces that are occupied, so what you're experiencing is circulating air to keep the room from getting too stuffy. The fact that air is coming out of your vent doesn't mean energy is being wasted. 

 

2. We don't need to know when you feel PERFECT.

We want to know! When you have nothing to complain about, are 100% comfortable, and think the temperature is PERFECT, we still want to know.  Your perfect feedback matters. Leaving feedback (hot, cold, or PERFECT) about how your building feels is the easiest way you can help our office understand your building better. Keep using TherMOOstat to send your feedback! 

 

3. Tricking your thermostat will make you more comfortable.

From time to time we come across spaces where occupants have tried to trick their thermostats into keeping their rooms cooler or warmer than the set temperature. This dupery keeps us from finding inherent or underlying problems in your building, and could possibly make things worse for your neighbors!  If the temperature is uncomfortable, the best way to go about fixing it is to tell someone about it (you can use TherMOOstat to let us know!).  You might not be the only person who is uncomfortable, or maybe there's a reason why your room functions the way it does. 

 

4. What you do has no effect on your neighbor.

As easy as it is to get sucked into your office, cubicle, or computer corner, we tend to forget about our co-workers on the other side of that thin 2-inch cubicle wall. If you're working in a communal or open workspace, it's more obvious that when you adjust the thermostat your are affecting everyone in the space. What isn't as obvious, is that this also applies to some offices on campus too. In some cases, one thermostat serves up to 5 separate offices. This means that if the thermostat is in your room, changing the setpoint without talking to your neighbors could cause unintended consequences.  

 

5. Nothing happens to your TherMOOstat feedback. 

Your feedback has a huge impact on our work! We use your feedback to inform future energy projects and to find energy saving opportunities on campus. We're working on sharing more of our projects with all of you so you can see how your TherMOOstat feedback is contributing to energy savings on campus. 

 

Key Takeaway

At the Energy Conservation Office, we're here to find a balance between comfort and energy conservation. We know we need your help to find this balance, which is why your TherMOOstat feedback is so important to us and our work. Just by using TherMOOstat you're helping us save energy on campus. We enjoy working with you and keep up the great work! 

We hope you enjoyed reading about these misconceptions as much as we enjoyed debunking them! As always, let us know if you have any questions for us to answer by emailing us at energyfeedback@ucdavis.edu.

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