Residence Life Facilities Information
Residence Hall Heating and Cooling
Campus heating and cooling is provided seasonally. Most of our building systems do not allow both heating and cooling to function simultaneously. Building systems typically transition from air conditioning to heating in late September/early October, and from heating to air conditioning in late May/early June depending on actual weather conditions.
Typical change-over from one mode to another can take up to 7 days. A notification to all residents will be emailed when these transitions are scheduled to occur. Given that Chicago sometimes experiences unseasonable weather (extremely warm days later in fall or cool days in early summer) after the heating and cooling systems have been switched, students should be prepared to help manage their personal comfort using the tips outlined below. During seasonal transitions, we typically err on the side of providing heat in the residence halls, based on Chicago ordinance requirements.
If you have a built-in window AC unit, it is advised that you do not run the unit during the winter months. If your room has a thermostat, please note that your adjustment range is limited.
If your room seems to be uncomfortably cool or warm, please submit a TMA request. Engineers will be dispatched to review and correct the situation. In certain cases, buildings are controlled by building automation systems. In these instances, adjustments may occur without an engineer being dispatched.
If you're feeling hot or cold, there are a couple of steps you can take to help maintain the temperature in your residence hall room.
It may seem basic, but here are some tips for feeling cooler in your room:
Place a box fan in the window - this can help pull cooler air into the room while drawing the warmer air out. (Please note, that if you are in a temperature-controlled building, opening windows can make it take longer for the air conditioning to cool the room down)
Close your blinds/shades during the day to block the sun
Turn off electrical heat sources (computer, lamps, tv, etc). These all generate heat.
Dress for the heat: wear natural fabrics (cotton, silk, linen) rather than polyester, rayon or other artificial fibers. Wearing lighter colors can reflect light and heat.
Feeling too cold? Here are a couple of ideas:
- Make sure your window is securely closed (being open a crack can let a lot of cold air in). If you are in an apartment or suite, please be aware that any open window will affect the heat. Sometimes you may be too cold while your roommate is too hot - try to compromise with your room/apartment-mates.
- Make sure the heat vents are clear - if your bed is pushed up against it, the vent cannot push the hot air into the room.
- If your room has a thermostat, make sure there are no electrical heat sources (computer, lamps, refrigerator, etc) nearby. The thermostat can mistake the heat generated by the appliances for the overall temperature of the room.
- Dress for the cold: while shorts and a tank top might be comfortable, chances are the halls won't feel warm enough. Wear a long sleeve shirt, long pants, and socks (you lose a lot of heat through your feet!)
If you've followed these tips and your room still feels too hot/cold, there may be a problem with the heating/air conditioning system. Please submit a TMA request.