Fall is upon us in Northwest Arkansas.
Every year questions arise about resident housing heat and our heating policy.
University Housing follows the same heating and cooling policy as the rest of campus: We strive to keep temperatures within the comfort range, 68-72 degrees.
Most of our housing facilities use systems that can accommodate either heating or cooling, but not both.
This means systems are transitioned partway through the school year, first to heating, and then back to cooling again as the outside weather warms.
This can sometimes present issues where rooms may get too warm. This often happens on unusually warm fall or winter days.
Unfortunately, these system limitations prevent us from toggling back and forth between heating and cooling in the same season.
Dates for transition to heating are based on weather projections.
Typically, Fall Break marks the transition point for heat, but this fall we experienced unseasonably warm weather.
We’re currently expecting the average daily temperature to dip in the first week of November.
We will begin the process of turning heat systems on within our residential facilities Nov 3.
There are always wide variations in personal comfort levels based on individual preference and physical condition of residence space.
Everything from the age of the building, location of the building, type of heating units, and other factors can sometimes impact the regulating of comfortable temperatures to individual rooms.
In some cases, a room’s proximity to mechanical areas or steam/hot water lines makes it challenging to regulate room temperatures. For others, a southern exposure and ample windows provide added heat to rooms.
Our larger residence halls have hydronic systems with either passive strip heaters along the base board that warm the room by convection or fan-powered unit heaters with individual room control.
To heat effectively, each of these systems needs to be free of obstructions so air can flow through and around them.
Do not pile clothing or towels on them.
Do not push your bed against them or push carpet against the bottom of the heater as this will significantly limit the heating of your room.
Northwest Quad and Founders
Residents in the North West Quad and Founders Hall enjoy automatic control systems and need not make any adjustments to their controls.
The Maples and Walton Hall
Residents in Maple Hill and Walton Hall may need to change their thermostat from cooling to heating by pushing the up or down arrow buttons until the temperature set point is displayed.
While the set point is displayed, push the mode button to change from cooling to heating.
All other residence halls are equipped with fan–powered heaters. Residents will begin to feel convection heat as hot water flows to these units in the coming week.
The principle of fan-powered heaters is the same as a baseboard heater (hot water, pipe, aluminum fins). The fan promotes rapid even heating of a space.
It draws the cold air off the floor and blows it through the heater core up into the room which mixes and breaks up cold spots.
It also has a thermostat and runs relatively quietly. Please note that the fan will run only when the thermostat is calling for heat.
There is a slight delay between the activation of the hot water valve and the activation of the fan to ensure that warm air will blow out of the unit.
When the set point room temperature is reached, the fan will automatically shut off.
Please note that fan coil units in Founders Hall are equipped with cutoff switches connected to the windows, if a window is opened the unit will shut itself off.
Again, our goal is to maintain a comfort range of 68-72 degrees within our residence halls.
Should you experience any extreme conditions outside that range, please contact your coordinator for residence education, our maintenance service center 479-575-7005 or submit an online maintenance request at http://housing.uark.edu/fixit.