For buildings with two or more apartments the landlord must supply heat at a temperature of 68°F (20.0°C) for each apartment from October 1 to April 30 and during May and September when the outside temperature falls below 60°F (15.6°C).
However, the landlord does not have to supply heat where the landlord provides each apartment with approved separate heating equipment solely under the control of the tenant of that apartment.
City of Philadelphia Heat Hotline (call with complaints about heat): 215-686-2590
Hours: 9:00 am - 11:00 am; 12:00 pm - 5 pm
- Preparing for Winter - Tips for Tenants and Landlords
Whether you are a tenant, a landlord or a homeowner, keep in mind the following tips as you turn on the heat
in your apartment, house or building: Tenants should be aware of the importance of these safety measures and
ask the landlord to perform them at the time the heat is turned on.
- Check Fire Safety Systems
Have the fire safety systems in the apartment and in the building checked. If you are a tenant and have concerns about the fire safety in your apartment/building, talk to the landlord first. If he/she is not responsive, call Licenses and Inspections at 215-686-2463 and request an inspection.
- Service the Furnace
Before the heating season, a qualified heating technician should service your furnace to ensure that it will operate safely and efficiently. If you are a tenant, ask your landlord about it.
- Clear the Area Around the Furnace
Make sure the area is clear for good air circulation. Keep all flammable materials, such as clothing, cardboard boxes, paint thinners, fuels and solvents, far away from the furnace.
- Check the Chimney
Inspect your chimney to make sure it is unobstructed. Because many furnaces vent into the chimney, it must be free of debris to allow products of combustion to vent to the outside atmosphere. If you will be burning wood in a fireplace, have the chimney inspected to make sure it is in good condition and free of creosote buildup. If you are the tenant, ask your landlord if inspections are performed.
- Get a Carbon Monoxide Detector
As the cold weather approaches, your furnace will consistently be running and your windows will be closed, increasing the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. You may want to install a carbon monoxide detector. These devices will alert residents to any build-up of carbon monoxide (CO) in the home. CO's physical symptoms include dizziness, fatigue and nausea.
- Never Heat with Range or Oven
On chilly autumn mornings, avoid the temptation to warm the kitchen with the range or an open oven door. The un-vented products of combustion can quickly build to deadly levels.
- Watch Space Heaters
Be cautious with portable and space heaters, making sure to follow manufacturer instructions for safe venting and use. Place them at least three feet away from any combustibles, such as wallpaper, bedding, drapes, clothing and furniture. Never leave them operating when you are away from the room or asleep. Don't leave children or pets unattended, with space heaters and never use them to dry clothing, shoes or mittens.
- Light for Safety
As days grow shorter, make sure outdoor lighting is in good working order. Good lighting can protect you against crime, falls and accidents caused by groping in the dark. Inspect fixtures and outlets for weather damage and replace burnt-out bulbs.
- Energy For Your Home - Heating Tips for Homeowners, Landlords, and Residents
- If your furnace won't work properly, do these things before calling for service:
- Check thermostat settings to make sure they are set to the heat and automatic settings
- Check fuses or circuit breakers in the panel box
- In the case of a blown or tripped fuse, simply reset or replace the fuse
- Check the switch on the side of the furnace, it should be in the 'on' position
- Some furnaces have a safety switch located in the blower or filter area. If you've recently changed the filter, make sure the outside cover panel is on correctly and making contact with this switch or the unit will not start
- Make certain your thermostat is located away from windows and doors. If the thermostat is in a cold draft, your heating system will run even when the rest of the house is sufficiently warm.
- Consider lowering your thermostat setting to save on energy costs. You can save up to five percent on energy costs by lowering the thermostat from 73 degrees to 68 degrees for an eight-hour period. Remember that the required temperature setting for landlords in the City of Philadelphia is 68degrees Fahrenheit from October 1st to April 30th.
- Replace filters every 30 to 60 days. If you have household pets, it's important to replace filters more frequently. Clogged filters make the blower motor work harder and shorten its life. Also, the air conditioner coil in the plenum can clog up and prevent cooling in the summer months.
- Have the fan limit switch on a furnace set to come on at 100° and to go off at 90°. By doing this, your furnace fan will come on sooner and stay on a bit longer. That way more of the available heat will be sent to your home rather than escaping up the chimney.
- If you have a window air conditioner, either remove it or insulate around it during the heating season.
- Check the water supply to humidifiers. The proper level of humidity in a home can help you be comfortable at a lower temperature because moist air slows evaporation of body moisture and loss of body heat.
- Use kitchen and exhaust fans sparingly because water vapors from cooking and bathing help humidify your home during the heating season.
- Make sure that air registers or hot water radiators are not blocked by drapes or furniture.
- Put clear plastic over the inside or outside of your windows during the heating season to reduce heat loss and increase comfort.
- On sunny days, keep draperies and shades open on windows directly exposed to the sun. Close them at night.
- To seal air leaks, install foam gaskets on all electrical outlets and switches, even on interior walls. These are available at most hardware and building supply stores and are inexpensive and very easy to install. When you are installing the gaskets, use insulated hand tools or shut off the electrical power or both.
- If you have a fireplace, use it efficiently. If it has glass doors, keep them closed when the fire has died down so that warm air inside the home is not drawn up the chimney. Be sure to close the damper when the fireplace is not being used and the fire is out.
Last modified: 2011-12-20 14:51:54