||10-17-2011 09:36 PM
Originally Posted by h82diet
I just bought a 5 unit apartment building and each apartment has its own thermostat and zone from the hot water boiler. The previous owner had an astronomical gas bill each winter because, I guess, the tenants put the heat up high. If I can't figure out something else, I will put thermostat guards on each one, set the temp and lock it. I was wondering about just leaving one thermostat and making the 5 zones into one zone Like I have in my other 5 unit forced hot air building. If I did this should I leave the thermostat on the ground floor or the 3rd floor? Does this make sense or would the building consume less gas if each apartment regulated its heat according to its needs? Thank you for your help.
For one it would be unethical, and two how would you determine what each person's comfort level is. Only way to better and effectively control and monitor, would be to use something like the Proliphix thermostats ((http://www.proliphix.com
) You would need some type of Internet comm at each location. Another way of monitoring is to use a remote monitor also, that tells you the temp, which also would have to have Internet access)). Also, have you had an energy audit done on the building and its mechanical s regarding the boiler? Also, as for the bills, it could be due to incorrect use of the system by tenants, could be due to incorrect billing, who knows.
Really suggest sitting down with an environmental engineer to go over everything, and you can also plug in the info at http://hespro.lbl.gov/pro
to see how the building compares, and what is the best solution. I bet you that if you look at the building, you will find that it is poorly insulated like most older structures, has a whole lot of air leakage like older structures, bad windows, bad doors, and tenants do not understand proper use of the system, in the way that they can help to keep their rent lower.
If you currently have tenants, set up a tenant meeting and let them pick your brain, and you pick theirs, in how everyone can work together. Also on the plus side, it would allow them to get to know who they are renting from better, and would make you more of a human, than just some blank entity that collects money and they never hear or see from.