How to control the out-of-control heat in your NYC apartment


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Picture this: You’re relaxing. The warmth is enveloping you as you lie back in your shorts and tank top. Nope, you’re not in Hawaii. You’re actually sweating in your heat-filled apartment. And it’s winter.

If you’ve ever lived in New York City, you know how difficult it is to find comfort during the winter months. Outside, it’s too cold. Inside, it’s a sauna.

The reason for your discomfort stems from the fact that most of New York’s pre-war buildings are heated with steam, which at the time was a “well-balanced … heat-delivery system,” according to Radiator Labs, quoted on the Community Environmental Center’s website. “Unfortunately, over time, this balance has been lost, most dramatically with the advent and near-universal retrofit of double-paned insulating glass, which significantly changed the heating requirements of rooms.”

A tempting solution for many New Yorkers is also a huge waste of energy: cracking open a window. Not only are you letting the heat escape, but opening windows during the winter can also result in considerable temperature fluctuations, according to the New York City Rent Guidelines Board.

Instead of suffering this winter, the RGB has some advice for all of you sweat-soaked Manhattanites.

  • Write a letter to your landlord and send it via certified mail. If he cares about saving money, he’ll care to hire someoee to fix it.

  • If the letter route falls short, contact your super about installing radiator valves with smaller holes, which allow less steam and heat to pass through. You can also purchase adjustable valves, which also limit heat.

  • Try shutting off the radiator valves, but ask your super first.

Another option is Radiator Labs’ device, which allows you to control the heat at each radiator. The device sits on top of your radiator unit, controlling heat transfer. When you turn it off, the insulation keeps the heat from making a room too hot. When you turn it on, the ducted fan spreads the heat out to the room.

For more resources, visit:

Danfoss Heating Solutions & District Energy 
For Private Consumers

Community Environmental Center

New York City Rent Guidelines Board