HPD Guidance and Safety Tips for Heat Season

With winter ahead and with the temperatures recently having dipped below freezing, it’s a good time to review owner responsibilities with regard to heat in apartment buildings. Heat season runs from Oct. 1st to May 31st. And during heat season, owners must maintain specific indoor temperatures depending on the outdoor temperature. 

Owners must maintain indoor temperatures at 68 degrees when outdoor temperatures are below 55 degrees during the daytime and a minimum of 62 degrees indoors overnight regardless of the outdoor temperature. Hot water must be provided at 120 degrees year-round.

One level deeper: HPD has shared statistics on the previous “heat season.” In Fiscal Year 2023, HPD: 

  • Issued over 6,000 heat and over 10,000 hot water violations;
  • Spent nearly $4.5 million on heat-related emergency repairs;
  • Initiated over 1,200 cases in Housing Court for heat and hot water issues;
  • Imposed $547,800 in inspection fees; and
  • Identified 50 buildings for inclusion in the Heat Sensors Program.

When owners fail to supply heat, the agency’s Emergency Repair Program will attempt to restore heat to the building. Civil penalties can be issued for repeat heat violations, and repeat offenders may be enrolled in the Heat Sensors Program, which allows the agency to install internet-capable temperature sensors and subject buildings in the program to repeat inspections during heat season.

More from HPD: For the launch of this heat season, HPD also shared the following safety tips for using space heaters:

  • Turn off space heaters when you leave the room, apartment, or go to bed.
  • Do not leave space heaters unattended.
  • Only use equipment with the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) mark showing that the product has been safety tested.
  • Turn off the space heater if the cord becomes hot.
  • Plug space heaters directly into the socket instead of into an extension cord.
  • Place the heater on the floor and never on a countertop or furniture.