Condo Owner Paying for Common Area Heat!

D.F. from outside of Connecticut writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

In my condo my heat vents are in a dropped ceiling that runs down my hallway. There is also a heat vent that is in my ceiling that goes to a common area that’s not part of my heating system. Every time I turn on my heater I’m heating the common area because of this vent that’s never used my heat system heats up this vent and leaks into a large common area. What can I do?

Mister Condo replies:

D.F., if you are paying for your own heat and own the vents in your unit, you may be able to have an HVAC technician take a look at your vents and see if they can be vented only into your unit. If the ductwork is owned by the association, there may be little you can do other than to alert the Board to the situation and see if they are willing to allow modification of the ductwork so you are not paying to heat a common area. It is uncommon, but not unheard of, that a single unit owner would be responsible for heating a common area. What if you turned off your heat? How would the common area be heated. This sounds to me like a bit of an HVAC engineering problem that will likely take some coordination between you and the Board to resolve. Good luck!

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