Maintenance Services

UMass Amherst Environmental Health and Safety
Residential Services Routine Maintenance Request System

Maintenance Requests | Routine Maintenance Requests | Emergency Maintenance | Heating Systems | Pests | Mold and Mildew | Room Furniture | Avoiding Maintenance

Maintenance Requests

Facilities and Campus Services is responsible for all building systems, repairs and room furnishings in the residence halls. The Facilities staff of carpenters, electricians, maintenance technicians, masons, painters, plumbers and trades workers help to maintain a safe living environment for students. 

Residents can use the online Service Request System to submit a routine maintenance request (from within the residence halls ONLY).

Important: Emergency maintenance concerns should be reported directly to your Residential Service Desk or by calling (413) 545.6401 outside of RSD hours.

Routine Maintenance Requests

If you have a routine maintenance request, submit a Service Request Form online using the Maintenance Request System. By submitting the request, you give staff the right to enter your room to complete the job whether or not you are present.
You can use the Service to track the progress of your request.

Emergency Maintenance

Emergency maintenance staff is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Maintenance emergencies requiring urgent repairs include:

• doors that do not close or lock properly
• loose door knobs or knobs that fall off
• lock and key problems
• heat, power, or water loss
• flooding
• continuously running water (sinks, toilets, showers)
• clogged floor drains, sinks & toilets
• broken windows
• graffiti and vandalism of fire alarm or security equipment, etc.

    All maintenance emergencies should be reported to your Residential Service Desk or by calling (413) 545-6401 outside of RSD hours. NOTE: The online Residential Life Service Request System should NOT be used to report maintenance emergencies.

    Heating Systems

    Residence halls are heated through a variety of systems. In our oldest halls, the heat is maintained through steam heat, and in the halls built in the 1970's, a circulating hot water system is used. In our newest halls, the heat is provided through a central air system.

    Steam Heating: Northeast and Central
    When steam is available, each room in the hall has a radiator with a thermostatic hand-value that controls the amount of steam that enters the radiator in the room. The building steam is controlled centrally by sensors and when the temperature reaches a desired point, no steam is available. During the transitional periods before and after the heating season, optimal heating and cooling conditions may not be met.

    Please take care around the radiator and do not block it behind furniture because better airflow will heat the room more efficiently. If you have any problems with the heat in your room, please contact your Residential Service Desk during business hours so he or by calling (413) 545-6401 outside of RSD hours to respond according to our heating protocol.

    Hot Water Heating: Southwest, Sylvan, and Orchard Hill
    There are sensors located in zones throughout the hall to monitor the hall's conditions. Water is heated to maintain a desired temperature within the hall which depends on outside and inside sensor readings. Individual room temperature control is not available and some rooms may be cooler or warmer within a zone. During the transitional periods before and after the heating season, optimal heating and cooling conditions may not be met.

    Please leave the back wall of the room open and free of furniture so the proper airflow is available to efficiently heat the room. If you have any problems with the heat in your room, please contact your Residential Service Desk during business hours or by calling (413) 545.6401 outside of RSD Hours to respond according to our heating protocol.

    Central Air Heating: North Apartments
    The central air system has three modes, Cooling, Heating, and Ventilation. While in the Heating mode, which is usually initiated in late October (residents will be notified when the switch is made), the system does not provide any cooling effects and vice versa. In both the Cooling and Heating modes, the system is monitored by Facilities Operations and residents are able to adjust the thermostat of their apartment within 3 to 4 degrees of the maintained hall temperature (between 68-72°F). During transitional seasons, the Ventilation mode may be used, which circulates the un-tempered air from outside throughout the hall. In this mode, apartment thermostats do not work and temperature control can be achieved through operable windows, although optimal heating and cooling conditions may not be met.

    Please, at all times, leave the adjustable vents in the apartment open 100% to increase the efficiency of the system. If you have any problems with the heat in your room, please contact your Residential Service Desk during business hours or by calling (413) 545-6401 outside of RSD hours to respond according to our heating protocol.

    Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC): Commonwealth Honors College Residential Community
    All rooms are heated and cooled by a ceiling level valance system.

    • Ventilation  Ventilation is manual using windows during intermediate periods (Fall/Spring) very much like home residences. Heating/Cooling is controlled by the HVAC system (Summer/Winter) and window use should be minimized. There are green/red lights at the building entrance. Green indicates that the outside air is cooler/dryer than the inside air. When the light is green, open your windows to help cool your room. Red indicates that the outside air is hotter/wetter than the inside air. When the light is red, let the HVAC system do the cooling and keep your windows closed.
    • Heating/Cooling  The rooms are automatically set for 72°F. Your thermostat can adjust this temperature up/down within a couple of degrees. It is best to find a temperature within a couple of degrees of 72 and leave it alone. The HVAC system will automatically detect whether your room needs to be heated or cooled.
    • Occupied/unoccupied – If your room is unoccupied for a period of time, the system will let the room get a little warmer/cooler until occupancy is detected. This is tied into the automatic lighting system. This means that if you return to your room and it feels a bit cold or hot; give the system time to detect your presence before making any adjustments to the thermostat. This saves a lot of energy!


    If you see any insect or critter in your room or public location, please use the online Service Maintenance Request System to submit a service request. Be sure to provide as much information as possible about the situation. Not sure what the pest is? Here are the most common in our area that you may encounter. The request will be forwarded to Integrated Pest Management and they will respond within 48 hours. If you do not get services within this time frame, please call Facilities & Campus Services at (413) 545-6401. Be aware that Integrated Pest Management will not exterminate beneficial insects such as ladybugs.

    Mold and Mildew

    If you see or suspect mold, please submit an Service Request or call Facilities & Campus Services at (413) 545-6401 to have the area inspected.

    The EPA reports that “there is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture”. 

    Tips for Reducing the Risk of Mold Growth in your Space:

    • Maintain Temperature – Set thermostats no lower than 70°F when cooling and no higher than 74°F when heating your room. Fans should be set on low speed.
    • Empty Bins – Please empty your room and bathroom trash and recycling on a regular basis; do not let it accumulate in your room. 
    • Air-dry Damp Items – Never leave damp material like clothes, towels or shoes on the floor or any other surface, they give an ideal environment for mold. Always hang damp items until completely dry.
    • Stay Clean – Please consider cleaning and general housekeeping of your space regularly.
    • Avoid Overfurnishing – Don’t overcrowd your space with furniture and other items. Keep all furniture and other materials away from heating/cooling units to allow proper airflow and to prevent creating dark, cramped spaces where mold can flourish.
    • Avoid Moisture Near Heating/Cooking Units – Do not place potted plants or any other source of moisture on or around heating and cooling units.
    • Report Leaks – Immediately report any leak or sign of water intrusion that you notice.

    Learn more about Mold and Mildew Prevention.

    Room Furniture

    Every student room is furnished with bed frames, mattresses, desks, chairs, bookcases, and wardrobe units or closets. This is the only furniture allowed in your room. All furniture must stay in your room. Do not add to your room furnishings by taking furniture from common areas. Removing furniture from your room or adding furniture to your room from common spaces may result in a charge. Report any damage to furnishings using the online Service Maintenance Request System.

    Avoiding Maintenance

    There are some maintenance concerns that can be easily avoided:

    • Avoid Electrical Overload – Avoid overloading the circuits with too many appliances or adapters.
    • Avoid Tampering Screens – Do not remove your window screen or damage it in any way.
    • Respect Furnishings – Treat your room furnishings as if you bought them yourself.

    You will be responsible for the condition of your room when you move out. Room occupants will be billed for rooms that have sustained damage. To avoid damage billing, here are a few guidelines to follow:

    • Protect Walls – Do not cover more than 25% of your wall surface with decorations and always use rubber cement or another non-damaging type of adhesive.
    • Avoid Marking Walls & Furnishings – Do not paint your wall or mark the interior of the room or furnishings with any non-removable material.
    • Keep Furnishings – Do not add or remove University furnishings from your room.
    • Report Damages – Report any damage or concern as soon as possible.

     Question? Contact us.