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 buidling 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 air filters are cleaned and replaced regularly. If you believe your air vents haven't been cleaned, place a FixIt request. AC units in some residence halls may have drainage pans installed overhead for concentration. If the drain begins to leak during AC season, make sure to close all windows and that steam from the bathroom is not directly hitting the vent. If you have a leak, move your belongings out of the way and call Facilities Central at 202-994-6706. 

Can temperatures be controlled in rooms and offices?

Central heating/cooling units in most buildings operate within a maxiumum/miniumum temperature range. The operation of the HVAC equipment in these buildings is on a predetermined schedule. HVAC equipment will be turned off when the building is not scheduled to be in use. 

Units in individual rooms or offices may be somewhat adjustable within that range 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's 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.