Just like that, Fall is upon us! Not only that, but soon enough, we will find ourselves in the throes of the inhospitable months of Winter. While our maintenance staff at Pacific Gardens finishes the process of changing furnace filters in apartments in preparation for being stuck inside for the Winter, we thought it might be prescient to talk about some useful tips and concepts for anyone living in an apartment during these colder months. Our hope is that these details will keep everyone safe, warm and sane as all of this warmer weather leaves us until next Spring.
- Test the heat in your apartment: The first step in cold weather preparation is to go ahead and switch your AC to heat. Set your heat to your desired temperature, making sure to keep it above 66 degrees at all times. If a furnace has not been in use for some time, it is common for the burners to burn dust buildup, which can lead to a slightly unpleasant odor. This will pass, and it may be useful to keep windows open during this short process, so try to see to this as early as possible. It is also important that you try to keep your furnace at a consistent temperature, with moderate changes when necessary. Constantly trying to adjust your thermostat for small increments is a good way to cost yourself more money in electrical bills, and to put a heavy workload on your furnace, which can lead to mechanical issues down the road.
- Window, wall and ceiling check: Remember to check your windows, walls and ceilings for signs of draft. Check your windows to make sure that they latch shut, and that they are opening and closing correctly, as well as the glass being intact. Make sure that the walls in your ceilings do not hold pressure cracks that may be permitting draft, and that trim in your apartment is secure. Not only will this save you money in utilities, but it will also stop bugs and other pest from being able to enter your apartment (which occurs with greater frequency as temperatures outside drop). Make sure that you are closing the entry doors to your building properly, are reporting if there are problems with rubber seals on doors, or if there are any window/wall/ceiling issues that need to be addressed.
- Pest Control: Going back to emphasizing the importance of checking your trim and walls, pests really like to get to warmer environments in the fall/winter months. We do monthly treatments of the shared spaces on each building in the community, but it is still very important that each resident does their part to report if there are pest control issues that need to be addressed. Contact the leasing office as these arise, as we will need to schedule a time for pest control to come in to individual apartments. Our assumption is that neither you nor your neighbors want to live with creepy crawlies all Winter, and we don’t want you to either.
- Keep an eye on snow and ice: Our wonderful maintenance crew will plow and salt/sand walkways around the community, and our contractors will plow and salt/sand our drives. Yay! However, we ask that each person be diligent in reporting any lingering issues with ice or snow in the community. Let us know if there is ice/snow that has accumulated in one area that has been missed, be aware of frozen tree branches or icicles hanging from precarious positions and utilize the salt buckets that are provided at each building. We want to ensure that each resident is safe, and that we have as many eyes on the community as possible to reach this goal.
- Monitor your space heater: With your furnace active, we may not find that space heaters are used all that much in apartments. However, if someone decides that they would like to use one (possibly as a personal heater in a bedroom), we ask that it is unplugged when leaving the apartment. Before use, make sure that it is not connected to an outlet that is already being used, and that all wires on the space heater are in working condition and are not frayed or damaged. We also ask that there is at least a three foot circle around the space heater that is free from clutter, and that no items sit on it during use.
As well, we want to make sure that each person is taking care of themselves during these next few months. For a short list of ideas, see the following:
- Take time to exercise. This is important, as it is common to be less active the colder it gets. Plus, the endorphin kick will help improve your mood!
- Continue to monitor your diet. Since the colder weather is taxing on the immune system, it is important to get you recommended amounts of vitamins, minerals, etc.
- Emphasize switching your wardrobe to colder weather clothing. If necessary, start your shopping early in preparation. There is nothing like getting ready to leave for work/school on a sudden 30 degree day and realizing your old coat does not fit or is damaged.
- Start planning your indoor activities. Plan game nights, watching parties, or simply huddle around an engaging story. It is ostensibly true that the worst part of winter is being bored inside.
As always, if there are any questions about any of this, please contact our leasing office. It is our hope that this post provides utility to our residents, and to others as the colder seasons approach, and that everyone can have a safe and happy Fall/Winter!