No Heat – Letter to the Editor

February 2023

My condo is chilly at night.  I complained to management and informed that the heat is off and the air conditioning is on.

Why can’t I turn up my heat when I am cold?  I am angry, fed up and think the Government should investigate these scams.

What are my rights?


 Response from Toronto Condo News

High-rise buildings offer a more efficient and effective way of heating and cooling than single-family homes.  It costs less to keep the home comfortable.  There are rarely cold or hot areas in residential units because of uneven heating or cooling.

Your ability to either heat or cool your unit has nothing to do with poor management or rights.  It is part of the physical design of your home that is impractical to change.

Most building systems are unable to provide both heating and cooling at the same time.   Heating must be turned off, usually in late April or early May, so that air conditioning is available.  Heating is usually turned back on in October or November depending on local temperatures each year.

Problems can arise during that in-between period when heating has been turned off and air conditioning has been turned on.  This process can take a few days.  Depending on weather conditions at the time, it may be preferable to have a short period without heating or cooling.  When weather conditions unexpectedly change, this can become a problem for a few days.

Few consider this to be a problem.  In a single-family home, where you can turn heat or air conditioning on at any time, making the entire home a comfortable temperature is difficult.  The top floor never gets cool enough in summer.  In winter, lower levels can be too cold.  And, the cost of heating and cooling is much higher.  Some wear warmer clothing during cooler periods.  Others use electric heaters or avoid using some rooms.

If you find your unit to be too cool during the summer or the transition period between cooling and heating, you could purchase a small electric heater, wear warmer clothing or use heavier blankets.  Unfortunately, there is nothing your building management or condo board can likely do to change this.