way to separate heating

hi, …i have a 5 unit multi…it’s gas heat ( boiler ) with radiators in all units… it only has one zone…which is on the first floor…what are my options…i’d like to seperate the heat by going to baseboard heaters, or electric…what ever’s the cheapest and easiest way so everyone has to pay there own ultilities…any suggestions? anyone ever do this before? thanks…

Howdy Sybadon:

Wallmart has a 3 foot wall heater for about 40 bucks that can be mounted to the baseboards. One in each bedroom and the living room and there you have it.

i couldn’t find them on walmart’s web site…if you got a link could you send it to me…also…is this legal for heating? i mean would it pass inspection using these? …thanks

Howdy Sybadon:

I did not see them at Walmart either. I have seen them there. Try Home Depot and Lowes.

I was going to use them in my 31 unit building im Killeen but sold it before this winter. I had just rehabbed it with used window units for AC but no heat. I do not know the codes where you are or even for where I am for the matter but what I was going to use was better than the small space heaters that were used last year by the previous owners.

I know tedjr has to be kidding.

You cannot use a plug in wall heating unit.

You have a few options.
Since there are 5 units it qualifies as a commercial property, however I am not sure if you are talking about a 5 family property or a commercial use property.
THere is a big difference.

If it is a 5 family and you are renting to non commercial tenants then there are local regulations you need to check on, but here is an idea for you to consider… It all depends upon how the plumbing is done. If heating lines to radiators are each home run back to the boiler, then all you have to do is zone 5 small circulating pumps, a mini flow meter at the boiler and a thermostat in each apartment. When heat is required for a particular apartment the pump kicks in and they get their heat. The meter tells you how much usage each month and you can bill them directly for it.
Another way is to convert to electric heat and wire the heaters into the tenants own electric circuit. You would have to have a separate line for each apartment that goes into their own meter.
The easiest way, however, is just to have an agreement with the tenants that each month the bill would be divided by 5 and billed separately to each tenant.

You will have to address the issue in the teneat lease that they would receive a monthly bill of 1/5th of the total usage or have a separate agreement with them.

Thats the easiest way, but you have to see what your local codes say about what and how you may charge a tenant… especially if it sis residential use.

Hope this helps.

Walmart… Sheeeesh!


hey…thatnks jeff…i thought he was talking about a hard wired heating unit/blower…anyway…thanks for the useful info…i don’t believe that i could go the route still using the boiler… i think i’d have to hard wire heating units to each units electric meter, im gonna look into the legality of spliting the heat 5 ways…don’t know if im able to do that in mass

thanks again

If you have any electrician friends, ask the what they know of the code and get an estimate at the same time.


Howdy crusade,

How much would that cost someone in your area to do what you mentioned in your post? and If you did have a 5 unit (family, not commercial) property you can possibly get residential financing and not commercial rates?

There’s a multitude of factors that could cause the price to go way up or way down. Call a local electrician that will do a free quote to give you an accurate price.

thansk rich for the info.