Heating a large building like a residence hall is complex. A typical Iowa autumn has some cooler days with a few sporadic warmer days mixed in. Unlike a furnace in a small house or apartment, many of our heating systems can take several days to warm up. Unseasonably warm days mixed in with cooler days often delay those systems' ability to operate to their potential. Those systems do not work fully until we consistently have cooler temperatures.

As such, it is not uncommon for residence halls to get cooler before you are able to feel the effects of the heat. You may need to use the blankets and warmer clothing that you brought (refer to our suggested packing list for other essential and recommended items).

Once the heat does come on, we encourage you to do the following:

  • Remove all items from the top of your radiators and pull your furniture and belongings away from the front of the radiator to encourage proper airflow (the radiator draws cold air through the bottom and hot air rises out the top of your radiator; if the airflow is obstructed, your room will have little or no heat);
  • If your room is too cold, be sure your windows are completely closed and locked (please note that some windows also open at the top, and so you may need to push up the top pane before you can lock the window); and
  • If your room has a thermostat on the wall, be sure there is nothing producing heat near it (computers, refrigerators, etc. may make the system think it is warmer in the room than it actually is).
If your heater is warm to the touch, then most likely your heater is working and following the above steps will provide more heat. If your radiator is cool to the touch, please contact your resident assistant (RA) so that we can work with Facilities Services to investigate the issue.