The Sounds Your Apartment Radiator Makes

December 8,2018 | By Sovereign Associates |

Radiators are so very New York and if you live in an older building, chances are pretty good you have one. Why is this? Well, most NYC apartments are steam-heated. If you’re a native/experienced New Yorker then you know that radiators can be quite noisy and temperamental- making all sorts of noises at the most inconvenient times or going from zero to a million degrees in a minute or not turning on at all when you most need it. I’m going to focus on the noises for now, however. By the end of this blog post, you’ll no longer panic worrying about the weird noises your radiator makes!


So what causes the noises coming from your radiator??? Well, there are several possibilities. A whistling sound can be the result of residue from minerals in the water that have built up. On the other hand, loud sounds like hammering, clanking, and banging could mean that your radiator needs maintenance or that the steam and water levels are building up higher than they should be. Specifically, hearing a hammering sounds is most likely the result of condensation meeting hot water on its way up. One of the main problems with radiators making unpleasant and loud noises is when more are added in the building which means that the return line will be taxed and is going to keep the water there. An important misconception that many New Yorkers have is that these sounds are normal. This is not true! People have simply grown immune or used to it, but radiators are not meant to make those noises, even though hearing them is not cause for serious concern necessarily. Definitely make sure to check the valve on your radiator and check your apartment mechanicals every season!


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