While we try to, we cannot avoid it, it is here. The cold. While it is something that happens every year, you may be thinking, is there anything you have to do while living in an apartment? While some tasks fall on the shoulders of your landlord or property manager, there are certain steps you can take as a renter to ensure you keep your home safe and comfortable during the colder months of the year. Try these helpful tips and you will be well on your way to staying as safe and as warm and cozy as a bug in a rug!
Don’t let lingering questions or concerns keep you from staying warm and safe this winter season. Be sure to contact your property manager or landlord with any questions or needs you may have in regards to your maintenance responsibility. Who does the snow removal for your home or community? Is it your responsibility to salt your entryway and or sidewalks? If your heat goes out, make sure you know the emergency maintenance number. All of these items may seem small but are important to know from the beginning of the season so you can prepare and act accordingly.
If you have not already, begin testing your heat! As in, now. The sooner you can catch any glitches before freezing your toes off, the better. A pro tip for next year: begin testing your heat in late fall. Let it run for a bit as it has not been used in a few months. Do not mistake timing for broken. It may just take a few minutes to kick on. If you do have any issues to address, please let your community property manager know right away so you can put in a maintenance request. Remember Tis’ the season for heat issues and problems, so maintenance may also get backed up with heating requests. So, the sooner you put yours in, the sooner you may have heat!
Whether you live alone or with a roommate, you probably are not looking for anyone or anything else at the moment. Cold weather offers a huge invitation for bugs and other unwanted critters who are looking for a warm place to crash. An easy way to attract those unwanted guests is through food and cleanliness (or a lack of). We recommend storing your nonperishable food items such as crackers, cookies, snacks, etc. in airtight containers instead of the boxes in which they come in. Be sure to keep your pantry as clean as possible avoiding any crumbs or spills, and you can easily upkeep it by wiping down the shelves with a damp paper towel to keep the area surrounding your food items, clean. Making sure your home is as clean as possible is a great way to prevent bugs from using your space as a winter getaway. Here are some tips you can use to help you deal with a messy roommate if you are finding yourself in a difficult situation.
We all want to stay warm and cozy but realistically, we should be paying attention to how turning on our heat affects the bills. Think of it this way, the higher you turn up your heat, the lighter your wallet becomes. Being comfortable in our homes does come with a bit of a price tag and that is something to be conscious of as you crank up the heat. Some experts say, that even turning your heat down by 7-10 degrees for a total of 8 hours a day, could save you up to 10% on your heating bills. If you work out of your home, turn the heat down. While you sleep, bundle up in layers and use extra blankets so you can turn your heat down a few degrees. If your home has a fireplace, turn off your heat and enjoy the warmth and nostalgia of the fire.
Winter storms are bound to happen, and when they do you will want to be prepared for warmth and safety. An easy way to help stay ahead of the game is to sign up for weather alerts in your area – “there is an app for that!” This way, you will know when the bad weather is starting, and when it is estimated to end. You will also be able to stock up on any food, or other supplies you may need, depending on the severity of your winter storm. When a storm is in session, our best advice is to stay home and stay safe. There is no need to be out and about or driving around. Not only are you putting yourself in danger by going out for unnecessary reasons, but you are also putting someone else in danger who could be out and about for an important reason. You may also want to have an extra portable heater on hand if needed as well as any extra blankets.
There are numerous ways to avoid frozen pipes and we have got the low down for you! Going out of town for an extended amount of time over the cold season? Going on vacation? Let your property manager or landlord know! This way they can note you will be gone in your file, and someone can check in on your home while you are away – whether it be maintenance or even a trusted neighbor. When temperatures get down past freezing, leave a slow drip to your sinks faucets so water can continue to flow and run smoothly through the pipes. You can also leave the cupboards under your sinks open or cracked to allow warm air to flow through the area to help prevent your pipes from getting cold which can lead to freezing.
One way to cultivate warm air in your home other than running your heat or a portable heater (which can end up using a lot of electricity): Your ceiling fan! If you have a ceiling fan, run it in reverse, and on the lowest setting. Believe it or not, this will cultivate and circulate warm air throughout your home! An easy and affordable way to help heat your home.
Bring in all of your potted plants, hanging baskets, and anything else you can store, put in a garage if you have one, or in a storage unit. You may think “the plants will be fine outside for next year” but in reality, all the snow and ice built up will ruin them. It can also chip the paint on your pots and ruin them as well. Also, leaving them outside will welcome bugs and other critters to your patio or front door. We also recommend putting away any patio furniture as the weight of the snow and ice could ruin your furniture.
Keeping up with your vehicle during the winter months is key! It is also key in protecting your car, its engine, and so much more. We recommend keeping up with your snow removal, especially on the hood of your car. If you are in the middle of a winter storm, bundle up and brush your car off every few hours of snow accumulation. If too much snow accumulates on your hood, it could very well weigh down your hood, therefore causing damage to your engine. Check the antifreeze in your car. With colder and sometimes freezing temperatures, your antifreeze could very well do just that…freeze. Be sure to check your tires before venturing out. Any build-up of snow or ice on your tires will make for a very slippery, and unsafe drive with little traction. Will you be gone on vacation? Leave your spare car keys with a trusted neighbor or a family member who can come turn on your car every few days. This will keep your car battery running smoothly and keep your engine warm. There is nothing worse than coming back to reality, with a dead battery and a vehicle that you cannot drive.
While we just named off many ways to stay warm and safe – it does take a little time, work, and effort. Do not forget the simple things and ways to stay warm and safe. Cozy up to loved ones on the couch and watch a movie! Body heat is a real thing and when you have a few bodies close together, you are sure to attract some friction and heat. Make a cup of hot cocoa, coffee, or tea. The simple joys and deliciousness of a warm beverage will warm your tastebuds and your insides. Dress in layers to control the heat. Dressing in layers give you the ability to cultivate your own body heat, with still the ability to take layers off when you become too warm.