How Does Heat Work?

Most buildings in the KMC, including housing, are connected to central hot water heating plants. These plants produce hot water and distribute it to our buildings to provide building heat through radiators. Your radiator control will look similar to the one pictured here.

These controls are very different from the thermostats we see in the United States. This radiator control is both the thermostat and the valve that controls the amount of hot water that flows through the radiator (thermostatic control valve). For the control to work properly, it must be surrounded by free circulating air. Do not cover it with clothes, curtains or furniture. Below is a chart that explains what the numbers mean. Cut it out and tape it up some place for future reference.

1 54ºF 12ºC “Off” setting. Dial is turned all the way to the right, past 1. Use this setting in the summer, when leaving for an extended period, or in unoccupied rooms. The thermostat has a built-in safety device to avoid freezing.

2 61ºF 16ºC Recommended night time setting.

3 68ºF 20ºC Normal recommended position. Start here and adjust to comfort level.

4 75ºF 24ºC

5 82ºF 28ºC Too Hot! Don’t waste energy. If no heat, call CE Customer Service 480-6540/6546.

Please note that the radiators do not provide instant heat. Hot water must pass through the radiator, and then the heat from the radiator is transferred to the room. Set the thermostat and allow time for the temperature of the room to come up before making any more adjustments. Radiators are usually located below windows, which is normally the coldest part of the room. A setting of ‘3’ should provide comfortable heat for the entire room.

Troubleshooting. The thermostat/radiator combination is a simple and reliable system with few moving parts to malfunction. However, it is possible that one of the following may apply. The control valve may malfunction, in which case there will be either no heat or too much heat.

Your radiator may make gurgling noises, likely indicating air trapped inside that should be removed for optimum performance. Finally, if the valve on your radiator has a solid plastic handle without the openings shown above, it does not have an internal thermostat and should be replaced to provide effective temperature control. Please call CE Customer Service at 480-6540 or 480-6546 for assistance with any of these difficulties.

Take advantage of natural heating. Open drapes and rolladens during the day so that the sun can warm the inside of the room like the sun warms the inside of your car. If it is warmer outside than inside, open the windows to allow the warm outside air into the room. Close the windows in the evening when the outside temperatures begin to drop.

By following these simple steps, you will ensure the comfort of your workplace while saving energy. Please feel free to contact our KMC Energy Manager, Ken Cavanaugh, at 480-3723 with questions regarding our energy saving programs. (Courtesy of the 435th Civil Engineer Squadron)