lundi 18 novembre 2013

When is the heating turned on in apartments in Beijing ?

Heating systems in apartments in Beijing is quite varied, from floor heating to other more classical methods, but the main point is that in most of the compounds the heating is centralized so that you cannot decide when to turn it on or to turn it off.

This is really annoying some years, since you are about to discover (if you don't already know it) that Beijing winters are really harsh.

At some point you have to ask to your real estate agent or directly to your property management to know the exact date they turn the heating on.

There is nationalwise reasons for this system: China is afraid because of the importantce of the ressources needed, such as natural gas and coal. There is a state planning at the level of the whole country. Coordination is complicated, for Beijing city alone, every day in winter 41.000 tons of coal are needed, this is huge. There is environmental implications as well and this is a rising concern for Chinese leaders, sometimes coal factories have to be closed to lower air pollution levels.

The date is every year around the november 15th, this is when Beijing begins heating. Some years this date can be a little bit earlier, up to one month earlier but this must be justified by exceptional meteorological conditions. This means that some years you might have a difficult month of october in your apartment when everything begins to freeze. There is all kinds of solutions then, essentially add some blankets...

Additional heating system are chosen, you can turn the air conditioning on on heating mode or purchase additional independant electric heaters you install in the living area.

The date can be different in some compounds. First of all, compounds considered as “diplomatic compounds” have the right to turn the heating on a monthe earlier, around October 15th. Many luxury serviced aparment compounds have the same system of turning the hearing early on.

Some apartments have actually independant heating systems, with the issue that they tend to be more expensive. Another issue is that the heating can be too powerful, leading people to open windows in winter to cool down their apartment. In this cases, independant heating is of course more convenient.

Tip: you should aks about it to your real estate agent when you get in the apartment.

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