For some people, it may be enough to crack a window or sleep on a heating pad until spring comes. But most of us spend at least six months of the year sweating, drying out, and being woken every three hours by the proverbial angels of death trapped in our radiator.
Don’t let this be just another New York winter. Here's how to show your radiator who’s boss.
Channel an episode of This Old House
To be clear, you are almost definitely not a professional plumber -- and please don’t pretend to be one. But you can still attempt a few makeshift repairs to quiet the high-pitched whistling and clashing appliance. If it sounds like someone is banging on your radiator with a metal pipe, you may have a case of water hammer.
This is often because your radiator is not at a proper angle (pitched downward toward the pipe and away from the vent, so condensed water can drain back to the boiler). Elevate one end of your radiator with a shim (or a stack of magazines, or thick paper) so water doesn’t block the steam.
You can also replace the air vent -- the piece that hisses (or shrieks, depending on its condition). It’s easy enough to pick up a replacement vent at a plumbing supply store, and not an expensive item. But your landlord or super should be able to handle it. If all you really want is to turn down the sauna, a piece of tape over the air vent hole will keep hot air from escaping, effectively shutting off the radiator.