So you’ve bought yourself a new home, in an apartment building. Congrats! If the building isn’t built recently, or renovated already, most likely it has a neighbourhood heating system that warms up several buildings in the area. Although it’s very common in Romania, there are a few (dis)advantages to it, which we’ll summarise in this article.
Neighbourhood Heating System
Giving that a high number of apartment use the same infrastructure for heating, the associated costs are lower than an apartment heating system. The thermal agents is divided by the total number of apartments using it, so the expenses are manageable.
Due to the pipes’ network, the water must be a certain temperature so it doesn’t freeze during the very cold days (which can reach even -20℃ in Romania), so no matter what, your apartment will be really warm and cozy during winter days (it depends of course of the type of insulation your apartment has, to keep the indoor temperature at a certain level)
Low maintenance on your part
You don’t have to worry about the system’s maintenance, since it’s not under your administration. And if something goes wrong, the costs will be divided by the number of apartments it services.
Doesn’t require additional set-up investments
Unlike the apartment heating system, this one is already up and running in your apartment. You only have to make sure that the radiators are working and are not clogged.
Can’t control its repairment time
A big downfall is that if it breaks down, you have no control on how long it will take to bring it back up. So there are some chances to freeze for a few days before it gets fixed.
Apartment heating system
Even though a central heating system usually is cheaper (depending on the number of apartments using it), if you are in the last 10% using this system from a building block, your fares will increase, due to heat loss along the way.
Control the temperature and the start date
If you get cold, even in late autumn, you can easily turn it on. Of course, your electricity and/or gas bills will be higher, but you’ll be warm at any moment of your choosing.
The size of the property will establish the type of apartment heating system you will need, so the price might go up with the installation.
If the apartment is well insulated, and it’s not loosing heat, a better choice would be an apartment heating system, because it keeps a constant temperature, that you can live with.
Unlike the neighbourhood heating system, it’s within your control to call a repairman and have it fixed as soon as possible. Unfortunately, with the neighbourhood’s heating system is out of your reach the only solution is to sit and wait.
In the end, our recommendation is to evaluate where you are now with the renovations and your planned budget. If you’re on budget constraints, investing in an apartment heating system, may not be the best choice at the moment.
We would recommend a thorough cleaning of the radiators and to see if they work. And if they are, try them for a winter and then decide. Also, keep in mind that apartments located at the ground floor have a tendency to be cooler during the winter (as well as summer) so if you bought such an apartment, maybe it would be better not to wait to make the switch.