Could Oak Park make your apartment cooler?

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By Marty Stempniak

Staff Reporter

Oak Park is looking at making it a little cooler in local apartments, to help bring the village in line with other neighboring communities.

Trustees took a first look Monday at an ordinance change that would drop the minimum required temperature in multi-family homes from 70 degrees, down to 68 during the daytime (6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.). The proposed change would also shorten Oak Park's "heating season" by about 15 days so it would now run from Sept. 15 to June 1.

The required temperature at nighttime (11 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.) would stay the same, at 65 degrees during the heating season. Officials say the shift will help Oak Park match up with the requirements of other communities.

The Oak Park Residence Corp., which manages 25 apartment buildings here, first requested the village decrease the required minimum temperature. A survey of a dozen or so other communities in the area showed that the village had the highest requirement of its neighbors, said Ed Solan, executive director.

Switching the temperature will lessen environmental impacts and save dollars in the pocketbooks of local property owners.

"We felt, given Oak Park's reputation for environmental concern, that this is something the village should look at," Solan said.

Trustees had no comment on the proposed heating changes on Monday. They're scheduled to make a final decision on it next Monday, Oct. 25.

CONTACT: mstempniak@wjinc.com

Reader Comments

9 Comments - Add Your Comment

Comment Policy

Vince Bray from Oak Park  

Posted: October 20th, 2010 7:33 AM

1) 25 year homeowner in Oak Park2) Daytime setpoint 66 f3) Night time setpoint 60 f4) quityerbellyachin

John Abbott from Oak Park  

Posted: October 19th, 2010 10:40 PM

Back in the bad old days of Energy Crisis, we learned to dial temps down to 68 degrees. I've never lived differently and honestly was surprised to learn that OP has all this time maintained higher temperature standards. Here's hoping the Board does the right thing in showing a modicum of respect for the environment. To those complaining, I wonder just what you all think about the energy & environmental issues involved here? Or do you bother thinking about these at all?

Ida from Oak Park  

Posted: October 19th, 2010 9:32 PM

If 68 feels drafty and cold, try a humidifier. I grew up in a house where my mother kept it at 65 in the day and 59 at night. Admittedly cold. I now keep my house at 67 or 68 when we are home and 63 at night. It feels great under a big comforter. The temp feels much better if you have a little humidity.

Jan from Forest Park  

Posted: October 19th, 2010 8:34 PM

I am mot talking about people walking around in their underwear. When you have jeans and sweaters on and you are very uncomfortable, it is too cold. Don't tell me about how spoiled we are. We have many stresses they don't have in other countries.

Aland Lord  

Posted: October 19th, 2010 7:21 PM

Mr. Lauber, tenants do walk around in t-shirts and underclothing. Then they call you at 11:00pm and say they are cold. When you come with a thermometer to test the temp, it is 72* Put some clothes on people (socks, sweaters, etc.) We are lucky to have indoor heating at all, think of other cultures who suffer to put food on the table and educate themselves. Wow we are spoiled. Oh no it is only 65* in here, I am going to freeze.

Jan from Forest Park  

Posted: October 19th, 2010 6:10 PM

65 degrees is cold. When I lived in an OP apartment, I got sick all the time; It was never warm enough. Renters really do get the short end of the stick.

Carolyn Berg from Oak Park  

Posted: October 19th, 2010 5:47 PM

I would be interested to see a survey of Oak Parkers who pay their own heating bills every month. I set my house at 68 during the day and 61 from 11PM to 6AM. My complaining children were told to put on more clothes and drink a cup of tea, maybe move around a little to keep the circulation going. It's more healthy, better for the environment, and has nothing to do with respect.

Dan Lauber from River Forest  

Posted: October 19th, 2010 5:37 PM

Why would anybody think tenants walk around in t-shirts when their apartments are heated to all of 70 degrees? How many homeowners set their temps at 68?Why does Oak Park's village board continue disrespect renter? They've long been second class citizens in Oak Park. When I served as Senior Planner 30 years ago, much of Oak Park's leadership wanted condo conversions to eliminate as many renters as possible. They deserve just as much respect as everybody else.This ordinance should be rejected

Bobbie Raymondib from Oak Park  

Posted: October 19th, 2010 5:24 PM

Although I haven't turned the heat on yet, when I do it will be set at 64 degrees during daytime. We can always add a sweater or an afghan while reading, and when bedtime comes it's great to have a layer of down -- either a down blanket or comforter. Building owners should not be forced to keep their buildings so warm that tenants walk around in undershirts. It's also healthier not to overheat.

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