Living: Hotlines and Comforters

After a nippy no-more-than-65° F day at the office, Urban Dweller returns to his rented apartment, flicks on the light—and watches as his sigh forms a frozen cloud in the indoor chill. The thermostat is controlled by his thrifty landlord. A woodburning stove is banned by his lease. Improved insulation, not to mention a solar water heater, is hardly on the tenant's list of options. So what does the city dweller do to keep warm?

In New York, Chicago, Boston and other major cities, he can call for heat on a hotline. While...

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