Daily Grumble

In the winter, the warmer it is outside, the colder it is in my apartment. You see, in apartments that have steam heat, city law only requires the buildings to light the boiler when the temperature falls below 55° between 6:00 am and 10:00 pm and 40° between 10:00 pm and 6:00 am. And since it’s 57° outside right now, the heat is off and it’s about 57° in my apartment.

On the other hand, when it was 15° last week, it was about 85° in my apartment. The only way I have to regulate the heat is to open a window. Even when I have the radiators turned down, as I often do, there’s still a steam pole in the corner of every room in this 100-year old building. Bother.

TRIVIA: New York City has the largest commercial steam heat system in the world, which mostly serves the office buildings of midtown and downtown. ConEd’s roots go back to before the New York Steam Company combined with Consolidated Gas, the company which owned Edison Electric.