Have you ever wondered how steam heating, the standard heating feature of so many of New York’s older buildings and apartments, actually works? Dan Holohan, considered an international authority on the topic, and the author of 20 best-selling books and numerous magazine articles about steam- and hot-water heating, will explain the process. In his talk, he will discuss the history, infrastructure and evolvement of steam heating and its impact on New York City.

Using the General Society Building’s steam-heating system as a case study, (a classic Paul System, popular in New York City during the 1880s), Mr. Holohan will describe the principles of steam heat, and discuss how he and the other “steam team” volunteers managed to eliminate much of the high-maintenance mechanical equipment that had complicated the General Society’s heating system, and made it inefficient. The end result is an elegant solution that runs on gravity, slight steam pressure, and a few low-maintenance, simple components.

Mr. Holohan was an established speaker and in high demand on the seminar circuit, having taught more than 200,000 people prior to his retirement in January 2016.  He has agreed to come back for this one special evening to talk about steam. He is well known throughout the heating industry for his entertaining, anecdotal style of speaking.

Dan Holohan began his love affair with heating systems in 1970 by going to work for a New York-based manufacturers’ representative that was deeply involved in the steam- and hot-water heating business.  He studied hard, prowled many basements and attics with seasoned old-timers, and paid close attention to what they had to say.  Mr. Holohan founded  HeatingHelp.com in 1997. His daughter, Erin Holohan Haskell, now owns and operates this tremendous resource.

The program begins at 7:00 p.m. in The General Society Library

20 West 44th Street, (Between 5th and 6th Avenues)

New York City.

Reception to follow. Advance registration is recommended.

$15 General Admission; 

 $10 General Society Members;

 $10 Senior Citizens; 

 $5 Students


This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.