Heat-Timer® Corporation

The Politics of Apartment Heating Management.

As a leader in the sales and installation of heating controls for all kinds of commercial buildings, we’ve heard a lot of stories from the HVAC technicians and building managers who have installed our equipment over the years.  It’s easy to get caught up in the technology aspects of heating, and most building management folks are focused on the money they will save when they have a “Heat-Timer®” running their boilers.  Sometimes however, we forget that all different kinds of folks are living in these apartments and co-op buildings and people experience hot and cold in different ways.  You can’t solve a problem of heating efficiency and cost reduction, without solving the human problem at the same time.

A recent install at a 100 unit NYC Co-Op hi-rise, is a perfect example.  Most of the residents were retired, elderly and long-time occupants of the building.  This older group of residents completely controlled the Co-Op board, and dictated most of the major decisions in the building.  Understandably, the elderly experience hot and cold much differently than younger folks.

The heating cycle during winter, prior to a Heat-Timer® installation, went something like this: Maude Wilson in 11B is a spirited 92 years young, president of the Co-Op board, and can’t figure out why turning up her thermostat on this cold day doesn’t seem to be doing anything in her apartment.  The concepts of shared steam delivery and centralized boiler heating are largely lost on her of course.  Maude calls down to Louis, the long-time building superintendent, asking what is wrong and why her apartment is “Freezing.”  Louis, who has known Maude a long time and who is a super nice super, obliges Maude and cranks up the boiler in the boiler room.  Maude goes quiet but several hours later the resident in 12C, Mike Jones, who is only 50 and a karate instructor calls down to Louis to ask why his thermostat isn’t working and the temperature in his apartment is 78 degrees!  Louis, who has known Mike a long time and who is a super nice super, obliges Mike and cranks down the boiler in the boiler room.  He also begins counting the days until spring.

You get the picture…

Not only is Louis’ well-intentioned manipulation of the boiler wasting an incredible amount of energy every winter, but at the end of the day, the residents aren’t any happier with the temperature in their apartments.  Poor Louis lives in fear of those late night calls which have him trudging back to the boiler room trying to address the latest resident complaint.

Heat-Timer Platinum Series with Internet – Managing both Temperatures and Residents

It turns out that our friends in the Co-Op managed to solve both their excessive heating bills, and their resident complaint problems with a little help from a Heat-Timer® Internet Enabled Platinum Control with wireless apartment sensors.  Even Louis is getting better sleep now as he monitors all building temperatures remotely, from our Mobile app on his cell phone.  If he needs to make an adjustment, he can do it from his cell phone or the internet portal.  Maude is still prone to complaining but when confronted with reports and graphical data from our wireless remote sensors to show that the temperature in her apartment is actually a perfect 72 degrees, she is now resigned to putting on a sweater in the interests of the greater good.  Her willingness to compromise was made even easier after she saw that the Co-Op was saving tens of thousands of dollars a year on the heating bill!

Saving thousands of dollars on your yearly heating bills is a given with Heat-Timer®.  What building managers need to realize also however, is that by using data from our wireless remote sensors and reports easily produced through our web portal, your residents can be presented with irrefutable data on both cost savings and comfort.  The combination is powerful and over time, wins over all naysayers.

It’s a story we’ve heard in some form, many times.  Call us today to see how Heat-Timer® can help you with the politics of temperature inside of your building. https://www.heat-timer.com/