Published onJanuary 4th, 2021
New Radiator Technology: Control Each Radiator’s Temperature with Your Phone!
Whether you’re a renter or a New York City property owner or manager, interior warmth in cold weather is a top priority. Most city apartments use steam radiators for heat, a system that’s been around for over 100 years and still works — albeit without a lot of temperature nuance or individual control. New steam heat technology can change all that and offer much more comfort on a microenvironmental level. Here’s how this technology can revolutionize apartment temperature for you or your tenants.
The Conundrum with Steam Radiators and Thermostats
Conflicting tenant needs
Until recently, it’s been impossible to use a thermostat to control radiant steam heat in apartment buildings. This is because a typical thermostat controls the heat source itself, which in the case of steam heat is a boiler.
In single-family homes, this isn’t an issue; however, in rental properties, multiple thermostats controlling one boiler wouldn’t work. At the same time, one tenant wants more heat; another may want less. Each unit could theoretically give conflicting different requests to the boiler to fire up or stop running.
This is why, in most buildings, a happy medium is attempted, with everyone at the same temperature. However, this usually leaves some units too hot and others too cold, depending on their location in the building and the tenants’ unique needs. Tenants who don’t get enough heat complain of being chilly, while others may be wasting energy by throwing open windows when their units get too hot.
Steam Heat Technology to Solve Temperature Control Issues
Individuated temperature settings
Now there is new steam heat technology to change the level of control tenants have over the comfort in each individual room. A new wireless thermostat that communicates with individual radiators, rather than the building’s boiler.
This type of thermostat allows tenants to set specific target temperatures for their zone. They can allow more heat in spaces they occupy frequently, like the living area, while turning down the heat and conserving energy in low-use spaces, such as guest bedrooms.
Thermostatic Radiator Valves
Adjusting individual radiator output
This wireless thermostat “talks” to individual radiators via a signal sent to thermostatic radiator valves. These valves are attached to each radiator and release more or less steam depending on the desired target temperature. Thermostatic radiator valves have been around for a while, but previously, they had to be adjusted manually. Now, this new steam heat technology means they can be more easily and conveniently controlled from a central thermostat — or your phone!
For both tenants and landlords, there are many features and benefits to using a wireless thermostat:
- The thermostat functions as a typical programmable device, allowing users to turn down the heat when they’re not at home or sleeping and increase the target temperature when they need more, such as before rising in the morning.
- Users can control the thermostat from anywhere using a Wi-Fi or cellular signal. If a tenant, for example, decides to stay at work later, they can delay their heat coming on for a few hours longer.
- Landlords aren’t paying for radiator heat (and therefore energy consumption) when tenants don’t need it.
- Tenants are more satisfied with having direct control over their units’ heat, including creating heat “zones” within the apartment for hotter or cooler areas as desired.
- Installation is easy and non-disruptive. The thermostat itself runs on two AA batteries, which only need to be changed roughly every two years.
If your tenants have been unhappy with their inability to control the radiators in their units, or if you worry about wasting energy on overheated apartments, a wireless thermostat installation can solve your problems. Calray Boilers is happy to assist you with this. Once the thermostat is mounted, and the thermostatic radiator valves have been added, we work with you to set the valves to communicate properly with the thermostat for the desired level of heat.
Don’t let another winter go by without tapping into steam heat technology that makes life better for you and your tenants. Call Calray Boilers today at 212-722-5506, or use our online form to schedule an appointment. We’ve been New York City’s preeminent “hyper-local” blue-chip boiler and heating brand for close to 100 years, and we’re here to help you mesh radiators from the 19th century with the best in technology from the 21st century.