Tip #50: Be kind to your radiator.
Our radiator has the biggest personality in our tiny apartment. When people exclaim about our ability to live together in such a tiny space, I’m tempted to reply: “…and with that pushy radiator, too.” He’s the supporting actor who desperately wants to take the leading role in our wee family drama. He clanks and fusses and spits and steams until he’s certain he’s gotten our attention. Heat during the day? Who needs it? 80 degrees when you’re trying to fall asleep? It’s yours. Symphony of clatters and bangs at 3:00 am? Everyone’s dream, no?
But he also keeps us toasty and he’s small and discrete, so we stay friends. If you live in a tiny apartment in New York–or anywhere in the Northeast–chances are you have a radiator friend (or foe) of your own. Here, a few tiny tips for living with an overbearing bully:
On particularly dry nights, I fill loaf pans with water and set them on top to make things a little steamier. I can’t imagine introducing a humidifier to this space and this is a free alternative (though honestly, this thing is verging on cute).
To help mitigate the rattling we’ve wedged small wooden shims under the feet in an attempt to straighten him out.
And to help with incessant hissing, we replaced the radiator vent. We’re basically home-maintenance heroes. I know.
At the risk of revealing all of my dorkiness in one blow: I think this video is all kinds of awesome and much more helpful than any of my rambling. (Some day I’ll tell you about my ardent crush on Bob Villa circa 1988).
Do you guys have steam radiators? How do you keep them happy?
PS. We’re thinking about painting our little buddy come spring. Stay tuned.