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Four Ways to Prepare Apartments for Winter and Find Savings

November 2018

As winter approaches, property managers and staff are beginning to consider maintenance projects that will ensure a hassle-free season.

With colder weather on its way, it is important to prepare your property, maintenance teams and residents in advance.

Follow these steps to make weatherization for winter simpler:

Pipe Protection and Maintenance

As a rule of thumb for apartment weatherization, consider areas of the community and apartments that are often overlooked, since they aren’t being actively monitored by residents. Because pipes are hidden underneath sinks or behind walls, residents often forget to check them, causing unexpected issues when cold weather strikes.

Most importantly, advise your staff to ensure that pipes are thoroughly insulated and not producing gaps prior to drops in temperature. In addition to reducing the frequency of burst pipes, insulation also cuts heat loss and increases the consistency of water temperature. Everbilt’s wall pipe insulation helps keep the heat in to maximize energy savings, and its closed cell structure is ideal for quick fix jobs because it’s self-sealing.

Insulating for Optimal Savings

Modern insulation can deliver benefits beyond temperature management. Home Depot merchants worked with Owens Corning to develop Pure Safety High Performance Insulation, the world's first certified asthma and allergy-friendly insulation that is mold and mildew resistant.

The insulation is fire-resistant, sound-absorbing and can lower energy bills by keeping heat in during the winter and the cool air from traveling in. By taking this necessary measure within the attic (if below-roof), community staff will breathe easier knowing residents are safe and protected.

Once the attic and walls are insulated, sealing cracks and gaps throughout the apartments is a crucial next step. According to the Department of Energy, reducing the amount of air leaks in and out of a home can cut heating costs, increase comfort and produce a healthier indoor living environment. Sealing and insulating the shell of units like the outer walls, ceiling, windows and doors is often the best way to protect resident from drafts and keep spaces energy efficient.

Smart Changes, Big Impact

A smart apartment is an efficient apartment. Installing a smart thermostat is a proven step to cost-efficient living, with experts estimating up to $150 a year per unit in savings. Switching to smart thermostats not only reduces the toll on community HVAC systems, but also upgrades living environments, allowing residents to be fully connected. This programmable thermostat from Ecobee can be controlled through Alexa voice-command technology or a smartphone, further classifying your community as contemporary and sustainable.

Next, replacing the lighting supply of incandescent light bulbs with LED lightbulbs is a guaranteed way to cut costs on electric bills in the winter. With shorter days and longer nights, energy usage is at a high.

Keeping Residents Informed

As property managers, residents look to you for expert advice. Informing residents of small changes that can yield positive benefits this winter will help you in the end.

Advise residents to double check that floor registers are clear of furniture, so heat doesn’t get trapped underneath. Encourage residents to keep their blinds open during the day for heat from natural sunlight. Easy tricks can have long-lasting results.

Every year, winter brings forth maintenance challenges that can be more difficult and expensive to address as they occur. Plan in advance, prep your maintenance teams with the latest products and tips, and communicate to residents regularly to ensure winter doesn’t take its toll.