Here’s important basic information in order for all residents of Sheridan Gardens to maintain comfortable temperatures these colder months. Steam is made in one of two boiler in our basement, and it flows up through vertical pipes and into your radiators. Once the steam is in the radiator, it condenses (depositing its heat into the metal radiator) and turns back into liquid water. The water (condensate) then flows back to the boiler through the same pipes the steam travels in. We have two separate heating systems, divided at the 4726 tier into the north and south sides of our building. It’s helpful to understand that we all play a part in regulating the temperatures. This is especially true for anyone living in any of the eight units which have thermostat sensors. If any of those units have a window open, an A/C window unit remaining, use space heaters or block the sensor in any capacity, it will throw off the temperature average making that side of the building hotter or colder than it should be.


The greater complaint is often too much heat. If this is the case, please improve conditions by turning off radiators in your unit, one at a time. Avoid opening windows as it creates further temperature problems in spite of faster individual results. You can also regulate the amount of heat you receive from each radiator by purchasing an adjustable vent (if not currently installed) or one that permits more or less steam heat to flow into the radiator. This is the only way to modulate the amount of heat from a radiator. The main valve should be open or closed all the way. A half-opened radiator main valve will create just as much heat, but will create further complications.


When your heat comes on, you should hear a hissing sound. This is the sound of the air in your heating system being pushed out of your radiator by steam. The air is coming out of air vents (the bullet-shaped or cylindrical thing attached to your radiator). This hissing should end relatively quickly; once the steam fills your radiator, the heat from the steam will cause the vent to close. If you never hear the vent hiss, and the radiator fails to get hot, this means that air cannot escape your radiator and steam can’t come in to provide heat. This probably means you need a new air vent. If steam comes out of the vent on your radiator, you have a broken or incorrectly installed air vent. In either of these cases, owners should replace or repair these vents. Renters may opt to contact your landlord. In addition to the annoyance of steam hissing from your radiator, these leaks prevent the boiler from operating at its proper pressure, causing the boiler to run longer than necessary. This is one of the common causes of the over-heating of buildings. It wastes money, fuel and decreases boiler lifespan and is an inexpensive and simple fix.


When your heat is on, you may hear sounds like somebody in a nearby unit is banging on the pipes. This sound is called “water hammer” and it occurs in radiators when the liquid water returning to the boiler comes in contact with fresh steam headed into the radiators. The steam evaporates the water, and the resulting vacuum creates that hammering sound. If you’re having water hammer problems, here are two steps you can take to reduce or eliminate water hammer in your radiators:

– Correctly pitch your radiators: The liquid water in your radiators flows by gravity back to the boiler, unless it can’t! Your radiator shouldn’t be level – it should be slightly tilted back towards the pipe that enters the radiator. A shim of wood or cardboard under the opposite end of your radiator will ensure that water can flow freely out of the radiator, preventing water from building up and contacting steam

-Open your radiator valves completely: Radiator valves are not designed to modulate (in theory all the adjustment is done by the boiler). Your valves should either be all the way open, or all the way closed. Turning a valve half-way won’t give you half the heat – you will still get all the heat but liquid water can build up because there is not enough space for it to drain out, leading to water hammer.

So there you have it – a quick look at how you can get the most out of your radiators this heating season!
Please direct any questions to our management or ask your neighbors on our Facebook page.