10 Things You Should Do to Winterize Your Rental Home or Apartment


Yup, winter is officially here, though in Oregon, it feels as if winter has been here for months!  Sometimes, keeping the cold wet Oregon air out and warm air in can be a challenge.

If you have not already done so, this is the time to do a small audit in your apartment or rental home to make sure your space has been “winterized”. A surprising amount of wasted energy and costs can be reduced by simply following some basic tips.

These tips will show you how to be more energy efficient and save energy, money, and will go a long way to improving the environment.

1. Close your storm windows.
This is hands down the simplest yet most overlooked way to keep the cold air out. Simply raise your screen windows and lower your storm windows for the extra layer of protection from winter.

2. Open your curtains during the day.
If your windows are facing the sun, let the sunshine in and turn on nature’s heater!

3. Keep doors closed.
If you have a large closet or any other rooms that aren’t heated (and don’t need to be), keep the doors closed to minimize the space requiring heating. This also eliminates the need to insulate these small spaces.

4. Look for any gaps at bottom of your doors.
You can lose a lot of heat at the bottom of your doors, especially ones with large gaps. You can buy a plastic “door sweep” that runs along the bottom of the door to seal it. You can also use a towel across the bottom of the door is a nice quick fix.

5. Insulate outlets & switches.
Electrical outlets can let a surprising amount of cold air in. You can stock up on little foam outlet gaskets to keep electrical outlets sealed and remove the covers whenever you like and take them with you when you move out.

6. Check your heating system.
Any heating system it should be checked out annually to make sure it is running safely and optimally. Check with us to see if there’s anything you need to do for the system to run properly such as changing your air filter at least every three months.

7. Use an at-home window insulation kit.
Consider investing in an at-home window insulation kit, available at your local hardware store. Such kits allow you to cover windows with clear, plastic layers that you can remove when you move out.

8. Install curtains.
You might be surprised to know that attractive drapes will both brighten your space and add a warm layer between you and the dreary weather outside.

9. Make sure your heat sources aren’t blocked.
This may seem obvious, but make sure your furniture is not blocking any vents or radiators! This can have a big impact on how efficiently your home or apartment is heated.

10. Use the ceiling fan (if you have them).
If you think ceiling fans are just for cooling, think again. If you run fans in reverse, they’ll push warm air downward, to where you can enjoy it.

For more tips to learn how to save energy and cut costs, visit www.energystar.gov.

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The University of Oregon Ranks in Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges 2014 List

University of OregonWe take a great deal of pride serving University of Oregon students, who in our opinion are among the finest in the nation!

We were not surprised earlier this month when the university announced it has been rated as one of the 100 best values in public colleges and universities for 2014 by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine which takes into account each of the 621 public, four-year colleges and universities in the U.S.

Kiplinger’s bases its list on the combination of outstanding education and economic value. The magazine assesses quality through standards including admission rates, freshman-to-sophomore retention rates, student-to-faculty ratios and four-year graduation rates. Cost criteria include low sticker prices, abundant financial aid and low average debt at graduation. The annual public school rankings appear in Kiplinger’s February 2014 issue – on newsstands Dec. 31, and online now.

The University of Oregon, founded in 1876, is the state’s flagship institution. The university offers academic excellence and hands-on learning opportunities in a welcoming atmosphere. Towering trees shade the 295-acre campus, where students, faculty members, and employees from a wide variety of backgrounds share a commitment to preserving the environment and pursuing innovation in more than 260 academic programs that range from Eugene to Portland and from the coast to the mountains.

Don’t forget the Oregon Ducks will make their first-ever appearance in the Valero Alamo Bowl on Dec. 30th!! Go Ducks!

photo credit: Erik R. Bishoff via photopin cc