Whether you live in a high-rise building or a spread-out condo association, you probably take having reliable, adequate heat in the winter months for granted. But heating a multifamily community is not so easy as simply turning a dial. There are different fuel sources, budgetary considerations, and environmentally-friendly options to consider – especially when living in a community association where many homeowners’ voices must be heard. And clearly, different regions of the country have specific weather patterns with which they must deal. This is by no means a ‘one-size-fits-all’ matter.
New England Condominium spoke with managers and HVAC professionals across several different markets to get an overview of the energy options currently on the market, and find out which one may be best for a specific association.
The Jet Set
Winters are certainly quite different in New York and Florida, but it’s not uncommon for residents of the former to have homes or apartments in the latter – and vice versa. Doug Weinstein, Vice President of the Project Management Group of AKAM Living Services, which has dual headquarters in New York City and Dania Beach, Florida, has a finger on the pulse of both locales, and can attest to how people heat their homes in both the urban northeast and the semitropical south.
New England Condominium: In New York, No. 6 oil has been banned since 2015, and a ban on No. 4 is looming. In your experience, what are people using these days to heat their homes?
Weinstein: “Well, very few buildings transitioned from the heavy oil 6 to No. 4; most went directly to No. 2 oil, or did a gas conversion to run off either pure gas or dual fuel. Gas is a much cleaner burn, so the equipment will run more efficiently where that’s used. There’s less wear and tear to the boilers.”