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Energy Efficient Cold Weather Maintenance for Renters

The cold months are upon us, and while you’re preparing for the holidays and its inevitable bustle, take a moment to ensure that you are truly ready for anything the cold weather can bring.

 

Nothing can ruin your holiday (or even your weekday night) like an avoidable maintenance emergency rearing its ugly head. Bursting pipes, crumbling fixtures, dead plants and even injuries due to slipping can all ruin your cold winter months if proper preventative steps were not taken early in the season. And while renters are often not responsible for the brunt of difficult maintenance work, there are still some important tips that you can implement to keep your holidays free of preventable emergencies and keep your security deposit safe from deductions due to negligence.

 

Thankfully, most cold-weather damage to rental properties can be prevented with a little extra effort and pre-planning.

 

Prevent Frozen or Bursting Pipes During a Freeze

A burst pipe can cause loads of damage--especially if you are away for the holidays and the leak goes unnoticed for any period of time. Prevent against damage to the structure itself as well as damage to your personal belongings by taking these easy precautions.

 

  • Drain and disconnect any garden hoses and cover the spigots with foam covers.

  • Turn off any sprinkler systems.

  • If the temperature drops below 20 degrees, keep the water flowing (and prevent a freeze in the pipes) by having one or two faucets running at all times.

  • Add foam covers on indoor and outdoor piping to further insulate against the cold.

  • Keep the cabinet under the sink open so that warm air can flow around the pipes.

  • Tell your landlord or manager if you plan to go on vacation, so they can monitor the pipes if there is an uncharacteristic freeze.

 

Get the Indoors Cold Weather Ready

Simple adjustments can improve safety and efficiency within your rental during the cold months. Take a few minutes to implement these tips and save money throughout the fall and winter seasons.

 

  • Cover or entirely remove your window air conditioners.

  • Prevent against indoor fire hazards by inspecting your fireplaces and chimneys to check for blockages, and have them cleaned before you use.

  • Turn your ceiling fans on low in reverse (clockwise when looking up) to circulate warm air and save on heating costs.

  • Change your air filter to ensure optimal airflow and less energy use.

  • In older rentals, put up insulated curtains to keep the warm air indoors.

 

Get the Outdoor Areas Cold Weather Ready

If you live in an area that will likely see snow as winter encroaches, it’s important to check your lease agreement and your local laws regarding who’s responsible for snow removal. You may find that your city only allows a certain timeframe before sidewalks and other areas must be cleaned or you could face a fine.

In addition to snow removal on walkways, you should:

 

  • Bring in potted plants from outdoors.

  • Keep outside foliage alive by covering them with insulating materials. (Just remember to remove it once the temperature pops above freezing.)

  • Brush off trees and plants to prevent them from breaking due to heavy snow buildup.

 

Keeping your rental ready for the chilliest time of year can be a chore, but it can lead to some hefty savings this year! Little steps can keep your property looking great, keep your landlord happy, and keep your wallet fatter for those holiday shopping sprees.

 

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