Save Energy and Protect Your Property this Winter Holiday Season

December 21, 2020

While this holiday season is unique with many people forgoing traditional holiday travel, Columbia University Facilities and Operations would like to remind you that you can help save energy and prevent loss or damage of your property should you be away from your office or home during break and throughout the winter.

Here are a few simple things you can do to help before leaving your home or office for any extended amount of time: 

  • Take precautions.  
    • Close and lock all windows, including in spaces not normally occupied. (It is in these "forgotten" rooms that, in addition to wasting energy, an open window can cause freezing and split pipes and resulting damage. It may be useful to designate someone to this task, so it is not forgotten.) 
    • Clear clothing or furniture away from heaters to avoid inadequate heating that may cause freeze-ups and damage. 
    • Make sure all faucets are off. 
    • Close fume hoods when not in use and shut down non-essential lab equipment.  
  • Save energy. 
    • Shut down and unplug appliances such as cell phone chargers, computers, printers, faxes, copiers, space heaters and coffeemakers. 
    • Limit the use of automatic doors during the cold winter season.  Many people who can open doors manually may use the automated door openers out of habit.  Manually operating doors reduces the amount of heat that escapes and saves energy.  
  • Be in touch. If you see an unsafe condition including leaks, opened windows and doors, or other issues, please immediately call our Facilities Services Center at (212) 854-2222.  We are open 24/7 and are prepared to handle your calls.  
  • Be careful. Safety is our priority - use caution when navigating around campus during the icy winter months. 

These few simple steps will help protect your property and prevent burst pipes and other building issues.  We appreciate your support and patience as we work together to keep our campus safe, beautiful and functional. Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the Facilities Services Center at (212) 854-2222.  

To stay up-to-date on campus improvements and other related news throughout the year, you can register for our monthly e-newsletter, join our Facebook page, and follow us on Instagram @columbiafacilities

Thank you and happy holidays.