Wednesday, December 03, 2008
By C N Heidelberg 14:31 apartment life
We have radiator heat in our apartment. There's a huge radiator in the living room and a smaller one in the bedroom, as well as two flat little ones in the bathroom and even the kitchen. It's gotten really cold lately but we try to keep our use to a minimum because it's quite expensive!
They measure our usage of the radiator in a very strange, old-fashioned way. There are liquid-filled meters on each radiator. When the radiator gets hot, the liquid evaporates. So the less liquid is left at the end of the year when the meter-reader comes, the more you have to pay for heat.
We didn't even realize this was how it was done until a meter-reader came last year, checked them all, and refilled them with more liquid. We thought it was a little weird and vowed to leave one radiator never turned on to see if the liquid evaporated on its own. The picture on the right is our kitchen radiator meter. It does evaporate on its own! There's got to be a better way to meter our heat!
Speaking of meters, the water meter reader was due to stop by the apartments in our building between 3 and 5 pm yesterday. A sign outside noted this and mentioned there would be a 20 EUR fee to make a new appointment for anyone who wasn't home to let the meter reader in during this time. Yes, the water meters are ever-so-conveniently located right in our bathroom above the toilet (see left - the hot and cold water meters). I made sure to be home during that time yesterday, and no one came! The sign is gone. What happened? (And why aren't the meters somewhere else anyway? And is it normal everywhere to be metered separately for hot water?)