Thursday, January 15, 2015

Tips For Keeping Your Roosevelt Landings Apartment Warm During Cold Roosevelt Island Winter Weather

Last November, some residents of Roosevelt Island's Roosevelt Landings building complex

complained about cold temperatures in their apartments. For example:
  • They only allow us to set heat to 72 degrees, no higher. That is not enough to heat the living room area, as it's an open room,
  • the heat still goes on when windows are opened! What are the contraptions they installed under the windows for if not to tell them no heat when the windows opened?
  • I have elderly parents who are always cold, l had to buy them 2 portable heaters because l don't want them getting sick. They don't want us to do that, then allow us to bring the heat up to at least 77 degrees, and. For the equipment to operate better,
  • the thermostats are giving false readings.we are going to freeze again this winter unless they raise the max temperature, which ... is 72 degrees, Many of us have large open living rooms, the insulation in our apartments is probably non existent, the new windows are horrible and those of us with staircases lose heat, too.
At that time, November 2014, I asked Roosevelt Landings owner Josh Eisenberg of Urban American:
... getting complaints from some Roosevelt Landings residents about their apartments being cold and thermostats not being accurate.

Any comment on issue from Urban American?
 Image From Urban American

Mr. Eisenberg replied:
The thermostats work very well, are accurate and the vast majority of residents at Roosevelt Landings know how to use them. They maintain the required level of heat in each apartment and last heating season, the thermostats and comprehensive air sealing saved a lot of electricity and significantly reduced the amount of carbon emissions generated by the building. As always, if residents have issues with the equipment they should call or visit the main office and someone will visit their apartment as soon as possible to check it out.
Mr. Eisenberg invited me to take a tour of Roosevelt Landings and speak with Urban Greenfit's David Davenport who is managing Roosevelt Landings energy program. Mr. Davenport described how to stay warm in your Roosevelt Landings apartment.

Mr. Davenport adds:
Roosevelt Landings Heating Season Update

The heating system at Roosevelt Landings, has been active since October 1st.

Baseboard Heaters:

While City code requires buildings to maintain temperatures of 55F+ degrees at night and 68F+ degrees during the day, Roosevelt Landings maintains temperatures between 68-72F+ degrees through management of baseboard heaters and air sealing of resident apartments and corridors.

The heating management system at Roosevelt Landings is designed to keep the cold air out, maintain warm temperatures indoors, and prevent heated air from escaping. Residents who were used to turning their baseboard heaters on and off manually have commented that their thermostats and heaters do not work.  The key to understanding that the system is working is not whether the baseboard heater is ON, but observing central indoor temperatures of 68-72F or more while outdoor temperatures are below 55-40F degrees and below.

Important Thermostat / Safety Facts:
  • The heaters come on automatically when the central room temperature is below 68F degrees.
  • Residents can adjust the temperatures up to 72F degrees by pressing the up button on the thermosets.
  • The baseboard heaters cannot be turned on manually.
  • The thermostats automatically setback to 68 degrees at 10pm and 6am.
  • When the thermostats setback, residents must manually raise the heat by pressing the up button to resent the temperature up to 72.
  • Refrain from using space heaters which will disable the baseboard heating system.
  • Use of ovens to augment heating is a safety hazard and will disable the baseboard heating system.
  • Use of ice or cold towels over the thermostat will damage and make the thermostat inoperable.
There are a number of actions that residents can take to help keep the cold air out, maintain warm temperatures indoors, and prevent heated air from escaping.
  • Prevent cold air draft infiltration by keeping apartment and hallway windows closed. Hallway windows have been fitted with locks to retain conditioned temperatures. If hallway windows and apartment windows are opened –cold air will come into the building and flow from apartments into the hallways, and from the hallways into apartments.
  • Make sure air-conditioner sleeves containing air conditioner units are sealed airtight around the edges. Also make sure that conditioner sleeves containing air conditioners have covers over vents to prevent cold air from coming in and baseboard heat from escaping. If you have an air conditioner sleeve with no air conditioner in it, make sure it is sealed with an air tight cover. If you notice drafts from your closed windows and air conditioners contact maintenance to schedule a winterization a service appointment to address these issues.
  • Don’t Block the Flow of Air: A baseboard heater heats as cold air is drawn into the heater and hot coils heat this air. As the air is heated, it rises to the top of the heater and then draws the cooler air from the room into the heater, and the cycle repeats. In order for your heater to function properly, it is important that nothing be placed in front of the heater to block the flow of air. In fact, you should place furniture at least 6 inches away from the heater. Furniture can block the baseboard heaters from heating the room and absorb heat. 
Corridor Windows:

Hallway corridor windows will be locked during the heating season to prevent cold air from flowing through the corridors into resident apartments and to prevent heated air from escaping from hallway heaters and resident apartments. Ventilation to ASHRAE & building code standards are supplied through trickle ducts and mechanical ventilators in each hallway.

Please keep corridor windows closed and report open hallway windows to maintenance so that they can be secured. Vandalism of corridor window locks affects your building’s thermal heat loss and compromises the ability of neighbors to regulate the heat in their apartments.  
More information on Roosevelt Landings new energy program at previous post.

Stay warm.