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Radiator Control

A rendering of Radiator Labs' "Housing" for controlled steam heat

A rendering of Radiator Labs’ “Housing” for controlling steam heat

The Problem

Do you live in a building with steam heat? Then you know how frustrating it can be when the landlord or the super sends up more heat than you need, or less.

It’s not really management’s fault. The majority of New York City’s pre-war buildings (those constructed after 1900 and before 1940, prior to World War II) heat their apartments with steam, which moves through pipes under its own pressure without the need for pumping (the method was adopted before electric motors and pumps became readily available.) Steam is also easier to disperse than hot water, especially throughout the tall residential and office buildings that gave New York City its iconic skyline during the first half of the 20th century.

The young company Radiator Labs, Inc., explains the situation this way:

“Steam heat is an old technology….any colder climate region around the world that underwent significant growth prior to WWII has significant steam-heated infrastructure…

“Back when these buildings were first constructed, it is astonishing how well-balanced their heat-delivery systems were. Unfortunately, over time, this balance has been lost, most dramatically with the advent and near-universal retrofit of double-paned insulating glass, which significantly changed the heating requirements of rooms.

“Today, since there are minimum temperatures required in most habitable buildings, heating systems cater to the coldest rooms in a building. For those who have lived in a steam-heated apartment building, this waste is self-evident – professional estimates point to a heat-energy loss of up to 30% due to this problem.

“Do the math, and this amount of waste accumulates quickly. In the US we waste many billions of dollars per year as a result. And remember – this is many billions of dollars of unnecessary fuel that is burned, releasing immense amounts of CO2 and other pollutants.”

The Radiator Labs Solution

Radiator Labs, Inc., a NY-based company co-founded by Marshall Cox and Ioannis (John) Kymissis, has created a device that allows you, the apartment dweller, to control the heat at each radiator – and save energy while you’re at it.

The device is “a housing that sits on top of an individual radiator unit, controlling heat transfer to a room. Turn it off, and the insulation [keeps] the heat from making a room too hot. Turn it on, and the ducted fan spreads the heat out to the room.”

Essentially, the Radiator Labs mechanism traps the heat, and the steam that is created remains in the steam system, instead of overheating your bedroom.

No more overheated apartments with open windows sending warm air into the streets of New York City. You control your radiator.

To learn more about how Radiator Labs can help landlords and tenants, read more

agreene@cecenter.org
Alexis is the public relations coordinator at CEC.

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