7 Steps to Prep Your Apartment for Summer
Summer is the time for concerts, beach vacations, and more daylight. But...summer can also mean broken AC's, bugs and ferocious storms. Let's call mine a love/hate relationship because summer loses me at the bugs. I don't do bugs. Just a big bag of nope. But, boy am I in love with summer beach days and outdoor concerts.
The first official day of summer hit us last week. For some of us, we've felt like it was summer for a while now, but others are only recently feeling its burn. However, you don't need to fear the ugly side of summer. If you take the extra time to prepare for this warm to super hot season, you are already one step ahead. So take note. You're going to want to get right on this little summer to-do list.
1. Check your AC/Thermostat
Luckily, we all live in a world where air conditioning is a thing. But alas, they can fail us just like anything else. Make sure yours is working by turning it on and setting it to your desired temperature. You can tell pretty quickly if the room is not cooling. The AC will, more than likely, continue to run or you may be able to feel that the expelled air is warm rather than cool. Sometimes the issue may just be with the thermostat, but these are calls your hardworking maintenance team can make. If you have a programmable thermostat, the best idea is to set it at a warmer temperature while you are away, then set it at your desired temperature to kick on around 15-30 minutes before you get home. However, if you have pets, you would not want to go this route.
2. Check your air filter
One major item on the list is making sure your filter is clean. Just because your AC is working does not mean it is working at its full potential. Your filter also needs to be changed on a basis that meets your households needs. For instance, if you have pets, perhaps smoke in your home, burn candles, etc, your filter changes would need to occur more frequently. All Camden communities perform quarterly maintenance on apartments and part of it is a filter change. However, in between those changes you can certainly request more or replace them yourself. Some people prefer heavy duty air filters and if you fall in that camp, just make sure the filter you choose is not so heavy duty that it restricts air flow. Something else you should do is make sure your grate is clean. I take mine and wash it down in the bath tub each month when I change the filter. Two birds, one stone.
3. Check for gaps at doors and windows
Gaps can be the end all of a cool apartment but they can also wreak havoc on your wallet. You don't want to let all that bought air out so make sure to check all exterior doors for any gaps. A good way to test the state of your weatherstripping, as well as the frame casing, is to check for any source of light coming in from outside. This means your cool air is headed right out the door and those pieces need to either be adjusted or replaced. The same goes for windows. Make sure there are no gaps along the edges that are preventing hot air from entering and cool air from escaping. If you find any, a simple caulk job should do the trick. Now, let's talk about water. Summer can bring pretty heavy storms and you want to make sure water cannot get into your apartment. Checking these gaps can also help save you from any water damage.
4. Add yourself to a pest control list
With summer comes bugs. Like, lots of bugs. Luckily for you, more often than not, your apartment community has a pest control company that comes out on a weekly or monthly basis to perform treatments for anyone who has put in a request. It will either be included in your rent or be offered for a small fee, so just check with your leasing office. You can ask for exterior, interior or both. Keep in mind that once you do have a treatment, activity can flare. Also note that doing more than one treatment a month is actually counter-productive as it allows the insects to build an immunity to the solution. If you would like to do any sort of at-home, all-natural treatment in between monthly treatments, you can check out 13 Surefire Natural Ways to Keep Insects Out of Your Home. (True story alert. Remember how I don't do bugs? A spider crawled up my wall as I was typing this paragraph.)
5. Check your freezer's ice maker
This may seem like a silly one, but ice is crucial in the summer. By making sure it is producing as it should and not leaking, you are well on your way to a well-deserved glass of iced tea.
6. Put your ceiling fans on summer-mode
Did you ever notice there is a teeny weeny little switch on the motor housing of a ceiling fan? That switch actually controls the direction of the rotation of its blades. Counter-clockwise pushes the air down and clock-wise circulates the air up. In the summer your fan should run counter-clockwise. This will give the illusion of a cooler room. By illusion, I mean a fan does not actually cool a room - which is the exact reason that if you are not in that room, there is no need to keep a fan on. It is just a waste of electricity. A fan simply pushes the air down onto an individual, which in turns cools them down. Ahhh. Isn't it magical? If you do not have a ceiling fan in a certain room but have a round cover plate in the center of the ceiling, you may be able to install one. Ask your leasing office just to be sure that a) it is possible and b) it is permitted.
7. Check window screens
It is good idea on mild summer days to give your AC a break and open your windows instead. Fresh air is never a bad thing. However, if your screens aren't the right size, bent or have holes in them, this will allow mosquitoes, as well as other bugs, to take residence in your home and that is not our end goal here. By making sure your screens are in good shape, you're allowing yourself to enjoy the breeze rather than being filled with worry about what may crawl on your face while you sleep.
One of the perks of apartment living is having a maintenance team around when you need them. You're not having to Google local companies, crossing your fingers that they will fix the issue after seeing only so-so reviews. Your team is already right there for you as part of your living experience and being customer-focused is their job. We love our maintenance teams here at Camden. In fact, Camden dedicates an entire month to them each year. It was purposefully dubbed Maintenance Appreciation Month. So if any of these prep steps require attention or you just want to make sure they are done properly, simply pop in a service request on MyCamden, stop by the office or give us a call 24/7. We are always here for you.
P.S. Here is an energy saving tip FTW. Keeping your blinds and/or curtains closed during the hottest part of the day can cut down on your electric bill.
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