Winter arrives with beautiful stillness and charm, but it also comes with unique challenges that need to be addressed promptly to ensure a comfortable living throughout the cold winter months.
As a property manager, it’s your responsibility to take care of potential issues before they become hazards and upset tenants or impact their health. Follow the ten tips below to winterize your property in preparation for the cold and leave everyone involved happy, safe, and warm.
1. Add a Chimney Balloon
Using a chimney balloon can save you up to 30% on monthly utility bills, keep rodents and insects out, and prevent outdoor drafts from making their way into your property. Installing a chimney balloon is a cheap price to pay for all of the benefits you receive in return.
2. Install a Programmable Thermostat
Although programmable thermostats can be costly compared to the price of regular thermostats, they are more energy efficient and will easily earn you back the money you spent as well as increase your savings over time.
3. Check for Any Exterior Cracks
Walk around your property and look for any cracks that may have formed from woodpeckers, raccoons, or from any other causes. If you do find an exterior crack, replace the part that was damaged and resist the urge to merely fill in the space with caulk. Replacing the part is a long-term solution that will save you from having to refill the space again in the future if it gets any larger.
4. Adjust Ceiling Fans
Reversing the direction that your blades spin during the colder months warms the air and can save you up to 15% on heating costs every winter. Most fans come with a root switch that allows you to easily change the direction it rotates, but if you are unsure of how to do this yourself, hire an HVAC worker to do it for you.
5. Clean the Gutters
Failing to clean the gutters each winter causes rain overflow, which damages the foundation and walls behind them. Thoroughly cleaning the gutters is an inexpensive way you can save money that would otherwise be spent on future damage repairs. Don’t feel comfortable climbing the ladder and cleaning them yourself? Hire someone else to complete the job. Better safe than sorry.
6. Purchase Door Barriers
Using a towel or a blanket to stop heat from escaping exterior doors looks tacky. Instead of using those options, use an aesthetically pleasing tool that is functionally designed to get the job done right, like this magnetic door stopper.
7. Check Window Seals
Many old houses have windows that allow cold air to enter. Although this might not be a problem during spring or summer, drafts can easily cause temperatures in a house to drop during the winter. Pull back the trim of each window and caulk the area between the frame and the window to seal any gaps. If you find rotten wood, replace it or use an epoxy wood filler to make repairs.
8. Add More Insulation
Although homes are built with insulation, most builders install the bare minimum necessary to pass code requirements. Add more insulation to your attic, your basement ceilings, and to your elbow walls to keep your property warm during the winter and your heating bills low.
9. Add a Water Heater Blanket
Water heaters can account for nearly 25% of your monthly utility bill. Increase its energy efficiency and reduce your bill by purchasing a water heater blanket. Water blankets are relatively inexpensive and will save you more money the longer you use it.
10. Replace Air Filters
Regularly replacing your air filters extends the lifespan of your HVAC unit and increases its efficiency and effectiveness while slashing utility bills each month. Replacing filters each winter improves the air quality of your home and can be beneficial for those with respiratory issues or difficulties.
Winter is a beautiful time, and by taking the right steps forward to take care of your property you can minimize seasonal damages while maximizing client satisfaction.
Questions about your building maintenance needs? Give us a call to talk about facility services, cleaning, and management anytime.
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