Modern cities are amazing creations, pulsing with life 24 hours a day, and built to cater to every need of residents. Take away just one of any city dweller’s basic necessities like plumbing, electricity or heating and air conditioning, though, and the big city quickly becomes a nearly unlivable concrete jungle.
The discomfort and inconvenience of being stuck without plumbing or heat for just a few days can seem unbearable to many people. Sometimes these inconveniences are just part and parcel of life in New York. But often, energy stoppages can be avoided.
Murphy's Law might suggest that a condo or co-op building’s boiler will inevitably break down on the coldest, snowiest day of the year and leave all of the residents freezing. But even Murphy can be foiled if you understand the workings of your building’s boiler and its maintenance needs. Knowing those basics will help ensure that you’ll never need to use the electric space heater stashed in the back of your closet.
“The boiler room is the heart of the building. The loss of heat, hot water or air conditioning can and will create some unhappiness in any property, especially in high-end buildings,” says Michael Hummel, operations manager at Boiler Mobile, Inc. in Whitestone.
Boilers are machinery that are in near-constant use when they are needed most and, like any equipment, sometimes they have problems. But regular maintenance can prevent many of those problems, such as when a boiler is not cleaned properly or regularly and residue builds up in the equipment.