so we cannot control the heating.
My dad had them as well, but they were all replaced in the mid-nineties by his housing association, so I thought it would be a nationwide move (most of my friends in different parts of Warsaw have had theirs replaced as well at a similar time). Seems you have to stick to the open window routine then... at least you're not getting charged extra for the loss of heat you cause... ;-)
Now I think of it they might not have been actually replaced, just a fancy new regulator added to them... either way, he can turn the heat up, down, or off as he fancies. The housing association replaced all the old windows with new plastic ones at the same time, so energy efficiency really increased.