What is the purpose of an air valve on a steam radiator?

Does this part of the radiator detect the room temperature? Also what causes the hissing sound? Mine is a one pipe radiator system. I have heard that there are some devices that either I can install or I can have the super install them for me on the air valve for better control of my room temperature. What are those devices?

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    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    That is just suppose to allow the air to escape from the system so it works more efficiently. Just becouse there are controls that can be put on that supply pipe to control the flow, depending on need in the room.Does not mean the system you have is compatible

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