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Clank! Clank! Sssss! Steam Heat!


friendofsheila
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I live in a building built in the 20's and must cope with a radiator that has 2 settings: Too Hot and Off. Since I'd rather not freeze in the mornings, I'm going to try keeping the windows part-way open for at least part of the night so I don't boil.

 

Has anybody else ever dealt with this? And maybe has some ideas that might help?

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I live in a building built in the 20's and must cope with a radiator that has 2 settings: Too Hot and Off. Since I'd rather not freeze in the mornings, I'm going to try keeping the windows part-way open for at least part of the night so I don't boil.

 

Has anybody else ever dealt with this? And maybe has some ideas that might help?

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As a teenager, I lived in a building like that with my parents, a 1920's apartment that had a huge boiler underground that could have heated an entire hospital or school building. However, the apartments were huge, varying up to 12 rooms, and the building itself covered an entire city block. In the winter that's what we did too, left many windows partially open and let the heat rip. Of course, in those days I filled up the tank in my car for $3.00 (this was the '60s, before OPEC!).

 

As my parents got older, they opened fewer windows and when I came to visit them I would die in the stifling heat but they loved it!

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As a teenager, I lived in a building like that with my parents, a 1920's apartment that had a huge boiler underground that could have heated an entire hospital or school building. However, the apartments were huge, varying up to 12 rooms, and the building itself covered an entire city block. In the winter that's what we did too, left many windows partially open and let the heat rip. Of course, in those days I filled up the tank in my car for $3.00 (this was the '60s, before OPEC!).

 

As my parents got older, they opened fewer windows and when I came to visit them I would die in the stifling heat but they loved it!

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As Scrubber mentioned, I believe most radiator heat is controlled by a common thermostat (usually in another persons apartment). When I lived in a 1920's apartment my individual radiator had control knobs. But, I believe these were long-ago disabled when the thermostat was intalled.

 

Don't think you have much control other than windows or room fans to help circulate the air. Perhaps you could crack a window in a far room and direct fans in the bedroom to push the hot air that way.

 

-------------

"We need to have more respect for each other. Things have just gone really crazy, out of control. ... We're on a very weird kind of cycle." Stevie Wonder

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As Scrubber mentioned, I believe most radiator heat is controlled by a common thermostat (usually in another persons apartment). When I lived in a 1920's apartment my individual radiator had control knobs. But, I believe these were long-ago disabled when the thermostat was intalled.

 

Don't think you have much control other than windows or room fans to help circulate the air. Perhaps you could crack a window in a far room and direct fans in the bedroom to push the hot air that way.

 

-------------

"We need to have more respect for each other. Things have just gone really crazy, out of control. ... We're on a very weird kind of cycle." Stevie Wonder

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I lived in one of those older steam-heat buildings once.

 

To make the heat control issue even worse, the landlord only ran the boiler once in the morning and once in the evening. (Except during extremely cold weather.) The apartment would cool steadily in between boiler "runs".

 

There was really no choice while the boiler was running. You had to let the apartment (walls, floors, furniture) soak up as much heat as possible and get as unbearably hot as possible or by the end of the day when the heat came back on you'd be freezing. If you happened to be home during peak heat, the place was unbearable unless you opened a window a bit and let in a cool breeze.

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I lived in one of those older steam-heat buildings once.

 

To make the heat control issue even worse, the landlord only ran the boiler once in the morning and once in the evening. (Except during extremely cold weather.) The apartment would cool steadily in between boiler "runs".

 

There was really no choice while the boiler was running. You had to let the apartment (walls, floors, furniture) soak up as much heat as possible and get as unbearably hot as possible or by the end of the day when the heat came back on you'd be freezing. If you happened to be home during peak heat, the place was unbearable unless you opened a window a bit and let in a cool breeze.

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Guest ReturnOfS

I've lived in dormitories and aprtments with the same problem. Opening the windows is an obvious solution. Something else you could do is to get a window air conditioner unit, if the lease permits. I've been in situations where I've run the a/c in my room during the winter so my roommates could still be nice and warm in their rooms.

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Guest ReturnOfS

I've lived in dormitories and aprtments with the same problem. Opening the windows is an obvious solution. Something else you could do is to get a window air conditioner unit, if the lease permits. I've been in situations where I've run the a/c in my room during the winter so my roommates could still be nice and warm in their rooms.

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It sounds like the solutions are pretty limited. I'm going to give the open windows a try for a while, plus will ask the manager to set the timer so that it is closer to sleeping hours (10pm-6am) than it is now. Right now it is 5:30pm-2:00, so it gets awfully warm in the evenings.

 

If that doesn't work out to being comfortable, I'm also going to try shutting it off (and probably learning to live with the clanking noises that result) and use a little space heater I have overnight to gradually warm the room gently (it's a studio apt.). Luckily in this old building I don't have to pay for electricity.

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It sounds like the solutions are pretty limited. I'm going to give the open windows a try for a while, plus will ask the manager to set the timer so that it is closer to sleeping hours (10pm-6am) than it is now. Right now it is 5:30pm-2:00, so it gets awfully warm in the evenings.

 

If that doesn't work out to being comfortable, I'm also going to try shutting it off (and probably learning to live with the clanking noises that result) and use a little space heater I have overnight to gradually warm the room gently (it's a studio apt.). Luckily in this old building I don't have to pay for electricity.

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Space heaters should actually be called spot heaters. They're not very efficient at heating whole rooms unless the room is small and the heater is large. And they're WOEFULLY abusive of electricity.

 

Well, usually. I have a space heater that's basically an electric radiator and it does a pretty good job of filling a room with warmer air. But those little heaters with fans in them are best used under a desk to take the chill off your feet. Not as a primary heat source.

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Space heaters should actually be called spot heaters. They're not very efficient at heating whole rooms unless the room is small and the heater is large. And they're WOEFULLY abusive of electricity.

 

Well, usually. I have a space heater that's basically an electric radiator and it does a pretty good job of filling a room with warmer air. But those little heaters with fans in them are best used under a desk to take the chill off your feet. Not as a primary heat source.

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