Campus Temperature Guidelines

Franklin & Marshall College spends over $2.25 Million dollars annually on energy (electricity, natural gas, & oil).  In order to increase the sustainability of our campus, the College adopted guidelines to promote the conservation of energy.

For interior spaces, the guidelines are:

                                              Heating Season      Cooling Season

  • Occupied space         70 degrees                75 degrees
  • Unoccupied space     62 degrees                83 degrees
  • Margin                        +/- 2 degrees             +/- 2 degrees

Research areas will not be affected and will continue to be maintained to lab specifications.   

Please note that some buildings are difficult to control due to the design and age of the mechanical systems.  Therefore, some spaces may be outside the standard guideline temperatures.  Our skilled HVAC technicians are dedicated to providing optimal comfort within these guidelines.

If a space on campus is reported as too cold or too warm, depending on the season, the HVAC technician will measure the temperature in the room using a digital thermometer that provides immediate air temperature data.

  • If the temperature is within the range detailed in the Building Temperature Policy, they will take no action related to altering the mechanical systems in the space or building.
  • If the temperature does not comply with the policy, they will make every effort to correct the problem. Only F&O approved space heater can be used on campus. All other space heaters will be removed.

In both the heating and cooling seasons, energy is wasted and negatively affected by windows and storm windows that are not closed. Please be mindful of closing windows and doors.

Off-Peak Seasons

In the spring (April & May) and fall (October & November), the outdoor temperatures can swing rapidly from hot to cold, often within the same day.  The fluctuating temperature presents a challenge to Facilities and Operations to maintain comfortable interior temperature.  Since the weather is unpredictable, and varies year to year, we ask for the cooperation of the campus community during the “Off-Peak” seasons.  As soon as the temperatures are forecasted to become consistently warm or consistently cold, the campus systems are switched over.

Tips for dealing with Off-Peak Seasons

Tip #1 Be prepared for temperature fluctuations.  Dress in layers when possible and keep a light jacket or sweater in your office.

Tip #2 Close all windows and storm windows. If you open your window during the warm afternoon, please close it prior to leaving.

Tip #3 Report doors and windows that are not closing tightly.


Scheduling is a very important part of sustainable heating and cooling. Maintaining occupied heating and cooling levels in spaces that are not occupied does not make good financial or environmental sense. Reducing set temperatures when spaces are not in use has proven positive effects on our energy consumption.


Thank you for your help and contributions to this effort.


Space Heater Guidelines


This guideline applies to the use of space heaters by faculty, staff, students, and others in Franklin & Marshall College-owned buildings.

Space heaters pose serious fire and electrical hazards, and are not efficient from an energy use standpoint; therefore, the use of space heaters at the College is strongly discouraged. Their use should be reserved for times of heating system failures rather than as a means for supplementing an existing heating system.

During the heating season, temperatures in College buildings are set to maintain our spaces at 70 degrees +/- 2 degrees during occupied periods. If you have temperature concerns please use the online work order system or call Service Response Center at 3900. If HVAC technicians find areas where equipment malfunctions do not allow the building HVAC system to provide temperatures in this range, technicians will provide approved space heaters for temporary use while we make repairs to the heating system so that it can provide temperatures within the acceptable range.

Space heaters that have been purchased by the College have protected heating coils and safety devices that shut down the heaters if they tip over. Not all space heaters have these safety devices and could create a fire hazard. Additionally, space heaters have the potential to overload electrical circuits causing the circuit breakers to trip, which inconveniences others served by the electrical circuit and requires our electrician to respond to the electrical outage. Only College owned space heaters will be permitted. All requests for space heaters will be reviewed by Facilities and Operations and granted only if there is a medical need or the space does not have adequate heating.

All personal space heaters found in college facilities will be marked with the date found and room number and will be brought to Facilities Services at 415 Harrisburg Ave. The space occupant can pick up their space heater at Facilities Services at 415 Harrisburg Ave between 7:30 am – 4:00 pm during college workdays. Owners must remove the space heaters from campus.