Good Questions: Thermostatic Radiator Valves?

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Hello AT,

I know spring is in the air and all that, but I want to know about thermostatic radiator valves, which are supposed to allow you to control the temperature at each steam radiator, room-by-room.

They replace the standard shut-off valve, which is really supposed to be only an on/off, despite the fact that they spin around and around so you’d think they have midpoint settings. But no……

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Anyway, what are the different kinds/brands of TRVs, who installs them, how much installed, when to do it (during or after heating season), and DO THEY ACTUALLY WORK???

Because these overheated NYC apartments are killing me, and the open-window thing is so wasteful.

Thanks. Alan

Dear Alan,

Never heard of these, which doesn’t bode well.

Wikipedia says that TVR’s are “suitable for large rooms or buildings that are not constantly occupied, (such as warehouses and garages), where precise control of the room temperature is not critical.”

That said, there are a lot of links here for them, a number of which inspire confidence, particularly because they are pitched for saving energy. Since the price of one is relatively inexpensive, we’d try one out and see how it goes.

Does anyone have experience with these things first hand?