Heating & Cooling

Some examples of what qualifies as a heating or cooling emergency: 

  • Active leaks (more than a drip) from any heating or cooling device
  • No heat for an entire building during winter
  • No cooling for an entire building during summer

For emergencies only, call Facilities Central at 202-994-6706 option 2. This line is staffed 24 hours a day.


About Heating & Cooling

In many university buildings, heating and air conditioning cannot operate simultaneously. FPCM uses extended weather forecasts and historical weather data to determine when the systems should be switched each fall and spring. Generally, heat is turned on mid-October, and air conditioning is turned on mid-April, although allowances are made for variable weather patterns. 

All HVAC systems have preventative maintenance performed regularly.


Can temperatures be controlled in rooms and offices?

Central heating/cooling units in most buildings operate within a maximum/minimum temperature range. The operation of the HVAC equipment in these buildings is on a predetermined schedule. HVAC equipment will be adjusted to reduce energy consumption when the building is not scheduled to be in use. 

Units in individual rooms or offices may be somewhat adjustable within that range and either be wall-mounted thermostats or unit control panels with on/off, hi/low fan speeds, and cooler/warmer dials. Window-mounted air conditioning units have their own controls located on the units, although occasionally there may be wall-mounted thermostatic controls. 


What if it is too hot in my room or office during the air conditioning season or too cool during the heating season?

There can be wide swings in daily temperature during early fall and spring in the DC area before buildings' systems are transitioned. Transitioning mechanical systems from heating to cooling, and vice versa, may take a few days to accomplish. During the cooling transitional period, those who can turn off heat should. Then turn on ventilating fans if available and open windows (unless it is raining). During the heating transitional period, use layered clothing and blankets as needed. 

If we are in the processes of transitioning buildings across campus, we try to send out an email to inform building users/residents about what to expect. 

Any facilities related requests should always be submitted to FixIt.