Q&A: How Hot is It?

The New York City rules for heating are confusing. For example, from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., if the outdoor temperature is below 40 degrees, the indoor temperature must be at least 55 degrees. Taken literally, this means that if the outdoor temperature is above 40, there is no limit on the indoor temperature. The rule for the day time is similarly confusing. How should I interpret these rules?

—Heated and Bothered in Brooklyn

“From 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. if the temperature is not below 40 degrees, then no heat is required to be supplied by the building,” says Peter Grech, a resident manager and a New York City-based building operations consultant. “If the temperature is below 40 then heat is required to be supplied but at a minimum of 55 degrees inside the apartment. Same for 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.—if the temperature is not below 55 degrees outside then no heat is required to be supplied by the building. If the temperature is below 55 then heat is required to be supplied but at a minimum of 68 degrees inside the apartment. The gray area falls when the temperature is at 40 or 55. Then no heat is required unless it is below that number and not at that temperature. Please note that this is the city minimum—this does not mean you cannot give more heat or heat at a higher threshhold.”    

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