Not all of Carleton’s residential buildings are equipped with air conditioning, and those that do have air conditioning are not automatically turned on in the spring when administrative and academic buildings come online.

The decision to turn on air conditioning in residential spaces is a joint one between the Dean of Students Office and Facilities. This decision takes into consideration several factors, including current and predicted weather conditions. The temperature guidelines that have been established state that daytime high temperatures (or heat index temperatures) must be above 90 degrees and nighttime lows must be above 70 degrees for at least 48 hours before air conditioning is turned on.

The following preventative measures can be taken to lessen the impact of heat and humidity on the interior building temperatures:

  • Close windows and drapes during the heat of the day and open them at night when temperatures are cooler.
  • Use an electric fan to circulate cooler air at night.
  • Limit the use of heat-generating appliances such as stoves/ovens, hair dryers, etc.
  • Reduce the temperature and/or duration of showers to minimize the amount of heat and humidity being added to the building.

Air-conditioned academic buildings can also offer a respite from the heat