That pre-winter nip is in the air across much of the country, which means renters and homeowners need to tackle some maintenance tasks before the cold of December and January settle in. If you rent a home or apartment, you’re in luck, as your landlord or property management services team will likely take on the most demanding fall maintenance chores. But before you settle in too quickly, there are still some minor tasks you’ll need to complete to make sure your home or apartment is ready for the big chill.
Make Your Home Comfy Cozy:
As the temperatures drop, heating bills rise. There are options to cranking the heat that don’t involve wearing snow pants to bed or keeping blankets with armholes (Snugglies) in every room. Sealing drafts that penetrate exterior windows and doors will help prevent warm air from escaping and cold air from coming inside.
To find drafts in your apartment, hold a lit candle near the edge of windows and exterior door seals. If the flame flickers, you have a draft. Once you find a window or door with a draft, contact your landlord or property management team and ask them to seal the area with draft-sealing or weatherproofing tape (these are also good DIY fixes if you’d prefer to take care of it yourself). For a drafty door, add a door sweep or foam weather stripping or use an old-timey solution—a draft snake you can make yourself. Hang heavy drapes over windows to help reduce heat loss through windows, and prevent biting winds from getting in. If you have a ceiling fan, reverse its direction in winter and run it at a low speed to pull cool air up. This nifty trick can shave up to 15 percent off your heating bill!
Of course, if you’re one of those lucky ducks who have a fireplace or wood stove, a fire is the best way to make a home snug and warm. Keep your fire tools and supplies stocked and handy so it will be easy to start your fire burning. Move a table close by to read, work on puzzles, play board games or just chat with friends and family.
Address Your Winter Property Management Services
Check your lease or contact your landlord if you’re unsure about your property management responsibilities. You may need to cover outdoor spigots or run faucets in particularly cold weather to prevent pipes from freezing or worse – bursting. Performing these short tasks can help avoid serious damage, not to mention the discomfort of living in a home with frozen or burst pipes.
Generally, your lease will spell it out if you are responsible for snow removal on walkways, parking spaces, or elsewhere. However, if it’s not in your lease and you haven’t made any verbal agreements with your landlord, check with him or her to clarify. You don’t want to pay extra city fines for not shoveling the sidewalk or driveway if it is your responsibility. Chances are you’re responsible to change the HVAC filters in your rental unit, something that’s recommended with every change of season at minimum. It’s a simple task, and changing your filters will protect the system from damage caused by neglect. It can also help lower your energy bill. Clean filters prevent the HVAC system from working overtime, which can run up your bill needlessly and exhaust the system.
Clean out the garage and/or shed:
If you live in a single-family home with a garage or storage shed, set aside time to declutter and organize the items you have stashed in them.
Find your holiday decorations and move them up front so you can begin decorating, and place summertime items, from rafts to jet skis, in the back. When spring rolls around, you’ll be able to reverse the arrangement and you’ll know where everything is.
Pack Away Seasonal Clothing:
Depending on where you live, by November you can probably rest assured that tank tops and flip-flops are not going to be needed in the months ahead. Put the warm weather attire away in a place you can access it easily in case you decide to take a vacation to a tropical paradise for a respite from the winter chill.
In the meantime, you will enjoy the extra closet space for your bulkier winter wardrobe. Store your summer clothes in transparent garment bags to keep them safe from moisture and critters. Do not use cardboard boxes to store clothing, as they offer no protection from moisture, and in fact, creatures like silverfish love making their home in cardboard boxes. Transparent garment bags provide the added benefit of visibility, making it easier to find items you want to take with on that island getaway, quickly and without pulling out everything you so carefully stored away.
Do you have any winter prep rituals that you swear by? Leave us a comment telling us about your cold-weather strategy. We love details!
MYND Property Management offers one of the best property management services to home owners all across the United States. To learn more about our full-service property management services, give us a call.