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40 years ago at Penn State: June 30, 1977 -- Energy crisis brings change

n 1977, Penn State established the minimum temperature setting for any air conditioner on campus to be 78 degrees. Image: © iStock Photo dszc
June 27, 2017

Air conditioner minimum temperature set at 78 degrees

Periodically, Penn State will take a look back at news appearing in the Intercom, the University's faculty and staff newspaper, which has now transitioned into Penn State Today. This week's excerpt looks back at a University announcement at a time when the United States was in the midst of an energy crisis. 

This energy crisis was brought on by America's dependence on oil imported from abroad and the embargo imposed by members of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries. This led to fuel shortages and high oil prices throughout much of the 1970s.

Forty years ago at Penn State, June 30, 1977:

"Air conditioning limits set" 

The University has established 78 degrees as the lowest permissible operating point for comfort air conditioning this summer. This limit applies to building systems as well as window units. Faculty and staff are asked to keep office and lab doors closed to improve comfort and reduce operating costs.

Today: Energy use can be minimized by a variety of automatic mechanisms, including temperature changes when office spaces typically are not in use. 

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