Get ready for winter by checking your radiators and winterizing your air conditioners.

How does the heat work at The Mildred?
The Mildred has a single pipe steam system. When the heat comes on, steam flows up the single pipe, through the valve, warming each radiator. When the radiator is full of hot steam, the vent closes, forcing the steam to flow to other radiators. When the steam cools it turns back into water and flows back through the valve and down to the boiler to be turned into steam once again.


1 Pipe Steam Radiator.jpg

Please check periodically to make sure that there is no steam or water escaping from your valve vent. It is your responsibility to make sure that your radiator does not have any leaks. In a single pipe steam system the valve where the pipe comes up from the floor must be kept all the way open or all the way closed. If the radiator heats up even when the valve appears to be closed, it is not closing properly. Pressurized steam is being pushed through the closed valve and into the radiator. When the steam cools and turns back into water the partially closed valve will not allow water to flow back down the pipe. Water will eventually fill up the radiator and be forced out through the vent causing damage to your floor and your neighbor's ceiling. If you see a problem please call Peter at (646) 474-1885 immediately.

Be a great neighbor by regulating the heat in your apartment by installing the right size vent on your radiator. If you get too much heat it means that someone else isn't getting enough. The boiler generates enough steam to keep us all comfortable. Please so not regulate your heat by opening windows. Since we all share the cost and the benefit of heat, the board has authorized Peter to make vents available at our shared expense. Vents are easy to install when the radiator is cold and steam is not coming up. They can also be purchased at local hardware stores or online. Gorton and Hoffman are reliable brands.

Get more heat out of your radiator.
In addition to replacing the vent there are a few things you can do to get more heat out of your radiator.

1. Place insulation behind your radiator. No need to heat the wall.

2. Use a fan to blow air through the radiator fins and efficiently distribute heat through the room. Conversely, you can cool off a room by throwing a towel over a radiator to stop air from circulating through the fins.

The Heat Timer controls the boiler based on readings from indoor and one outdoor sensors that control the amount of steam that is produced. It helps, but it's only part of the solution.

Noise: Hammering, rattling, clanging and banging are caused by water that is trapped in the system. This may be a radiator that is partially closed, or it may be caused by a pipe under the floor that is not slanted back toward the boiler.

Great Radiator Video

It's time to winterize, preferably by removing your air conditioner from the window or thoroughly insulating so that cold air cannot enter your apartment.

Leaving your air conditioner in the window is not optimal because it will let in a draft which will lower the temperature of your apartment. Window air conditioners can be a major source of heat loss during cold, windy weather if not properly insulated. That being said, a quilted air conditioner cover to go over the outside of the window unit may help. These covers are plastic on the outside with quilted fabric inside. A blanket or towels, covered by a thick plastic sheet can be used to insulate your air conditioner from the inside. But the short story is that a closed window provides much better protection against the cold.


Simple measures for one-pipe steam systems that enhance efficiency and comfort.