Ah yes, that time of year. We go from trying to avoid the heat to encouraging its presence. If you’re a diehard, you’re still waiting for the weather to make you turn on the heat. If you’re like me, you’ve capitulated already. For most of us, it’s either furnace or boiler heat.
A furnace is instant on and that first whiff of burnt stuff is a reminder that you should’ve cleaned the ducting. Maybe next year. A furnace is all yours and only yours. You don’t share it and you don’t share maintenance responsibilities. Always a good idea to have it tuned and tested regularly. (For me that means every two years.) Know the filter change regime. If that’s a “duh” point for you, be sure your tenants know if you rent.
By contrast, a boiler is a big, slow cooking tea kettle. It can take days to get up to temp and can be tetchy when outdoor temps aren’t that cold. Not nearly as nimble as a furnace but then again it’s often designed to heat larger areas.
A boiler is community property. You all share its expense and its heat distribution. If your radiator valve is closed or if you blow a zone valve, your neighbor may be feeling it. If your radiator is working fine, all you really need do is keep it clean. (Especially true with those baseboard models.) If you see water, then you need to call management or maintenance.
Here’s wishing everyone happy heating days. Rumor on the street is that this winter won’t just be making a cameo appearance like the last one.