There are five main types of heating systems on campus. Locate your dorm in the table below and click on the "Type" heading to read about the type of heat that is applicable to your particular dorm. Click on your dorm name to view specific instructions (if applicable) for your heating system.
All campus heating systems are enabled by outside air temperature and will not run when outside temperature exceeds 58 degrees Fahrenheit. Outside air temperature is determined by an average from several temperature sensors placed throughout main campus.
Please do not open your window in winter to control temperature! Call your RA, CRA, or Commons Office to report any heating concerns.
|Type 1||Type 2||Type 3||Type 4||Type 5|
|Atwater A||Stewart||Smaller Dorms|
Water is heated by steam through a steam/water exchanger located in the building mechanical room. The temperature of the hot water circulated through the building is relative to outside air temperature. At 5 degrees outside air temperature the building heating water is 190 degrees, and at 60 degrees outside air temperature the building heating water is 100 degrees. Heating water temperature control is linear between these two points.
There are four or more temperature measurement locations in the building; usually two each on the upper and lower floors. The building heating control system is set to maintain these temperature measurement areas at 68 degrees. When the temperature in these areas is at set point (68 degrees), the control system stops heating the water that is circulating through the building.
The heater in each room of the building has a manually adjustable heat control valve. The position of this valve can be set by the room occupant to adjust the flow of water through their individual room heater. More flow will raise the room air temperature; less flow will decrease the room air temperature. It is important that room occupants adjust this valve accordingly to provide the thermal comfort needed. It is important to understand that when the temperature measurement locations in the building are at 68 degrees, there will not be heated water circulating through all other rooms in the building regardless of the individual manual position. Each room of the building is designed with the proper BTU load to heat the room to 68 degrees regardless of the outside temperature, provided the windows are closed properly and there is enough room around the heater for natural convection to occur.
Brooker, Brackett, Palmer and Prescott have their own boilers, otherwise they run the same as other circulating hot water systems (above).
Steam and condensate piping are run to each room and is controlled by a manually adjustable heat control valve on the radiator. The main steam valves are opened and closed by the temperature sensors located in various locations in the building. When temperature at these points reaches 68 degrees, the main steam is off and no heat is available regardless of the individual manual valve position.
Hot water is heated by steam through a steam/water heat exchanger located in the building mechanical room. The temperature of the hot water circulated through the building is relative to outside air temperature. At 5 degrees outside air temperature the building heating water is 190 degrees, and at 60 degrees outside air temperature the building heating water is 100 degrees. Heating water temperature control is linear between these two points.
The heat circulators are run by a variable frequency drive and keep a constant circulation in the building. Each room has a wall switch above the room sensor. When the switch is on, the room temperature will reach the day set point of 68 degrees, and when the switch is off it will reach the night set point of 65 degrees. The room thermostat is adjustable but only within the limits set by the College energy management system.
The fan coil units have an adjustable fan speed and need to be set on low speed for the heating season. Even though fans are used to distribute heat, it is still important not to arrange furniture as to block airflow.
The gray heater cabinet contains special bricks that are warmed overnight (10:30PM to 6:30AM) by electrically charged heating units. The unit then radiates heat throughout the day. If controlled properly, it will provide comfortable heat all day.
To regulate temperature for maximum effectiveness:
1) Use the white dial on the heater cabinet to set the Storage Intensity (level of heat stored overnight) using the following seasonal guideline:
No heat input - summer
I Lowest intensity - spring/fall
II Medium intensity - early/late winter
III Highest intensity - winter
*NOTE* The dial MUST be set to I, II or III to store heat.
2) Select your desired room temperature (65-68 degrees) using the thermostat on the wall.
*NOTE* This thermostat controls a fan mounted within the heater, that draws heat from the heater into the room. The longer the fan runs, the more heat it depletes from the heater. Setting your thermostat above 68 degrees will deplete your heat before the end of the day! If you plan to be away from your room for most of the day, we recommend that you turn your thermostat down to 55-60 degrees, to ensure adequate heat when you return.
Do not place objects on or near the heater! Objects can become very hot (fire hazard) and they reduce the amount of heat radiated into the room.
Smaller dorms or converted houses have a variety of heating systems. Most have a boiler with several zones of circulating hot water controlled by zone thermostats, and usually no room-specific manual control. Some have a hot air furnace, usually run by one thermostat for the entire house. These systems require cooperation among the residents to seek a comfort level acceptable to everyone.
Temperatures in Middlebury, Vermont, are expected to dip well below zero in the next few days. But students at Middlebury College should be cozy and warm — thanks in part to wood chips.
As part of a carbon-reduction initiative on campus, the college on Thursday expects to push the start button on its $12 million biomass gasification boiler. The facility, which sits in the middle of the campus, is projected to reduce the college’s heating oil consumption by a million gallons each year.
Getting a wood-chip boiler up and running is not easy. For Middlebury, there were three main concerns: the location of the plant, cost, and the availability of a fuel supply.