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HVAC Instructions

Heating and Cooling

You have a part to play in keeping your housing comfortable! Different housing areas have different heating and cooling systems, which you can learn more about below.

A great tip for all areas is to not introduce moisture into your housing. Wet clothes, towels, etc. should be hung up immediately in order to allow circulating air to dry them.

If you are experiencing a problem with your heating or cooling and need additional assistance, you can report the issue using the Work Order Management System.


Fixed Heating and Cooling Systems (Undergraduate Housing)

Please note that the following residence areas use systems that can operate only on cooling or heat. In these areas, the University makes an informed decision on when to switch from one system to the other.

  • Brown College
  • Faulkner Apartments
  • Maison Française (French House)
  • Gooch/Dillard
  • Hereford College
  • Johnson, Malone, & Weedon Houses
  • Casa Bolívar (Spanish House)


Fixed Heating Systems (Graduate and Faculty/Staff Housing)

Please note that the following residence areas use heating systems that are controlled by a central boiler for the entire building. The heat is not controlled individually in each apartment, and the University makes an informed decision when to activate the boilers for heat. Once activated, the boilers automatically turn on and off, based on pre-set outside temperatures.

  • Copeley Hill Apartments
  • Piedmont Apartments


Instructions and Troubleshooting


Is your room too cold? If your heat appears not to be working, make sure to move furniture and other items (wardrobes, clothes, etc.) at least three feet away from your heating unit or radiator. Blocking the air flow keeps your room from being properly heated or cooled, so make sure that the heat can circulate freely throughout the room.

Also avoid putting anything that generates heat (i.e. refrigerators or computers) too close to your heating unit. This may block the sensor on units that have them. Blocked sensors may register the room as too hot or cold.

On radiators, check to see if the control valve is open. If you have a radiator that remains cold to the touch, you can report the problem using the Work Order Management System.


Undergraduate Apartments

Air-conditioning in undergraduate apartments should be kept running with a low fan setting to prevent prevent moisture build-up. It is best to keep the temperature consistent (not at diferent temperatures during the day and night). Other tips:

  • Do not turn the A/C off when leaving your apartment.
  • Keep windows closed. Open windows allow humidity to enter your apartment.


Graduate and Faculty/Staff Housing

Air-conditioning in some on-Grounds apartments need to be turned on in order to minimize humidity and prevent moisture build-up:

  • Copeley Hill Apartments (primarily dial function)
  • Piedmont Apartments (primarily digital)
  • University Gardens Apartments (primarily digital)

The pictures below show the two different types of A/C units in these areas, and how they should be set to keep apartments at a comfortable temperature while minimizing humidity. Please adjust your A/C unit to the settings shown here.

AC units with dials should be set just right of center on the Temp (left) dial, and at Low/Cool on the Mode (right) dial.
AC units with dials should be set just right of center on the Temp (left) dial, and at Low/Cool on the Mode (right) dial.

A/C units with a digital display should be set to 70 on the Temp scale, with Low fan speed and in Cool mode.
A/C units with a digital display should be set to 70 on the Temp scale, with Low fan speed and in Cool mode.

Once the unit cools the apartment to the temperature as set, the compressor will turn off but the fan will continue to run. When the apartment becomes warmer than the temperature set, the compressor will turn on and begin the cooling process. While this creates some noise, it is best to keep A/C units on at all times during the spring and summer. In addition, please leave your doors and windows closed when using your A/C unit.

It is also imperative that you leave the A/C on if you go away for an extended period of time. Please leave your unit running at 76 degrees Fahrenheit for digital, or on the setting depicted above if you have a dial unit. If you plan to be out of the area for longer than a week, please email Our Facilities staff will stop by apartments to turn on A/C units if they are not left running when you leave.

Lawn and Range Cooling

Air-Conditioning Quick Start Guide

  1. To turn on the air-conditioning unit, press the top left button on the control panel.
  2. Set the unit to cooling mode by pressing the top right button on the control panel until the snowflake appears in the top right corner of the LCD display.
  3. Set your desired room temperature using the up and down arrows on the control panel.
    NOTE: Do not set the temperature below 70°F. Setting the unit below 70°F can cause the unit to leak water and damage the floor. Excess moisture promotes the growth of mildew and can damage the plaster walls and wood trim as well.
  4. Keep windows and doors closed if the air-conditioning unit is running.

Troubleshooting Tips

  • If the air-conditioning unit does not turn on, make sure it is plugged into a power receptacle. Press the reset button on the power plug if the unit is plugged in, but will not turn on.
  • If condensation appears on the unit, make sure the temperature is set to 70°F or higher.
  • If you have any concerns about the operation of your air conditioning unit, please call Facilities Management at 434.924.3053 or 434.924.1777, or login to the Facilities Management Customer Portal.