perly white
Kirk -- just my experience -- the plastic wrap changes absolutely nothing... Although the process of stretching it with the blow dryer is really cool. Still, not worth the trouble. 
--Julia Fri Jan 28 10:10:23 2005
Damn it.

Well, I bought it, might as well try to put it up. 

But I have a nagging fear you might be exactly right...especially since I've realized that sometimes it's the walls that are cold. (Though sometimes it seems arbitrary which ones are cold and which ones aren't.)
--Kirk Fri Jan 28 11:23:57 2005
how about calling your landlord? 
--FoSO Fri Jan 28 11:29:15 2005
I did. He didn't have a lot to say since the radiators seem to be kind of working. He might stop by tomorrow.
--Kirk Fri Jan 28 12:15:22 2005
I imagine the plastic wrap is just going to prevent air moving in and out, but if you had air actually coming in, chances are you'd have a fine jet of snow (or evidence thereof) coming in to exterior doors/windows as well. Another friend posted to his LJ some pics of closed doors and windows that permitted snow in through some not-at-all-obvious path.

If you have patches of your wall that're really really cold, the insulation has failed or is missing, and that's something your landlord needs to hear about.

I'd ask you to experiment with some stuff, but that would mean temporarily killing the heat, and I don't want you to lose those sea monkeys, not to mention what other havoc a freezing apartment can wreak.

Once your place is warm, put on a rubber glove (so you don't get your walks dirty) and feel all your walls in different spots at different heights, like a 1-2 ft. grid. You'll quickly notice places that are dramatically colder. Those, you should remedy with your landlord-- not sure what'll work in the meantime.
--LAN3 Fri Jan 28 13:33:57 2005
Are the heating pipes frozen? A couple years, I lived somewhere where all the sudden, the temp dropped & we couldn't get up, around the time of a blizzard and cold snap. The heater in the basement seemed to work fine. One day, one of my roommates called the gas company. They figured out the pipes were frozen, so they did something to unfreeze them. We then had to keep the heat up at a level bearable to me (I kept telling them to keep the heat at 68 or above, and they wanted it at something like 62 or around when 60 when no one was around). Before the pipes got unfrozen, we were paying astronommical heating bills, too, because we kept putting the thermostat up and up but nothing would work.

On another note, in my current apartment, we had a problem getting heat for a little while. I thought it was because the pipes had frozen. My girlfriend contact the landlord, who brought her downstairs and showed her the pressure gauge. The pressure had gotten too low, so anytime the heat doesn't seem to work nowadays, we go downstairs to check the pressure before panicking. Then again, we can tell if the heat is working or not because when it does, the radiators start making that cracking and creaking noise a couple minutes after we up the thermostat.

And during that time while the current apartment heat didn't work, I spoke with a co-worker (I work doing homeowners insurance, remember, and it's kind of our job to figure out problem spots that could cause major damage). She mentioned that if the heating pipes go along the sides of the house, then there's a chance for freezing. Otherwise, they have a low chance of freezing.

So. . .I would say take the following steps if you have gas heat: (1) Look for a pressure gauge and turn it up, (2) check to see if the pipes run along the exterior walls or something like that and/or (3) call the energy company.

Hope this has helped!
--Mr. Lex Fri Jan 28 16:00:13 2005
If you are looking for an excuse to buy a new toy, as I typically do with any problem, I would recommend a laser thermometer. You can point it at walls and windows and find out what surfaces are coldest with a high degree of accuracy. They start at about $100, but that might pay for itself in heat bill savings. Also, use it outside to see where your heat is being let out.
--Eric Fri Jan 28 19:53:08 2005
much as i've enjoyed being implicated in kirk's enjoyment of pornographic lesbian fantasies, one would have suspected that his former relationship would have provided a lifetime of mental fodder.
--FoSO Sat Jan 29 07:49:44 2005
If you have hot water heat (radiators or baseboard) make sure they are all approximately the same temperature. If not the cooler ones could be air bound and have to be bled by opening the bleed screw at the high point(s) and letting the trapped air out. BUT the water supply to the boiler must be turned on first so the pressure in the system doesn’t drop and let air IN at the bleeder. Also sometimes individual radiators can have flow valves that get plugged up with mung. That would require a plumber.

Check you’re electrical outlets for drafts; you’d be amazed how much cold air can come out of one outlet. If that’s the case the hardware store has thin foam blockers that go behind the cover plate.

If you locate cold spots in your walls and tell your landlord, please have your camera ready because I want to see the look on his face. C’mon now, do you really think the landlord is going to be willing to take remedial action? Think open wall- adjust insulation- close wall, or drill-insert foam that may buckle wall- repair hole, think expensive. Think income property that doesn’t income.

Legally, if it’s a survivable temperature 4 feet above the floor in the center of the room, he’s cool, even if you’re cold. Spend your time thinking about insulating the inside wall surface with foam board, cork, heavy cloth or books. Hot monkey sex helps too.  

--xoxoxo Bruce Sat Jan 29 08:25:47 2005
FoSO...it's not as bad as it sounded, honest. I just dig your hair!
--Kirk Sat Jan 29 10:24:55 2005
I don't think Laser Thermometers are quite that expensive, but they're up there. Amazon has one for $80.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B0001K18B4

Pricy for troubleshooting a cold wall, but, you know, if you do any cooking, this thing would be awesome to have.
--LAN3 Sat Jan 29 14:21:16 2005
I suoppse that sounds and smells just about right.
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