Save the Most in the Winter
I remember in college of a seasonal competition among my roommates & housemates. Who’s gonna cave first? Who’s gonna get so cold they can’t take it anymore? Who’s willing to fight off the others and finally turn on the heat–and I don’t just mean pump a little heat into the room–I mean, who’s making impactful decisions that are going to affect the utility bills?
Well, I think the bravest made it as long as Halloween–I certainly did not. The halls smell of baseboard and space heaters– that new heater smell we all grow to love. It’s a warm and cozy kind of day with bone-chilling influence on you monthly bills.
Winter doesn’t have to pinch your wallet as hard as you would think, it just takes proper practice and application. Whether you have baseboard heaters or a gas furnace, you too can keep a smile on your face despite the freezing weather.
Baseboard heaters provide heat to a unit by heating an element within the device and radiating heat into the unit. Compared to a furnace–which heats air in a chamber and blows heated air into your unit–a baseboard heater will not blow hot air, only radiate heat into your unit. Both techniques are successful in heating units to comfortable temperatures, and both can increase your monthly utility bill drastically if misused.
It is noteworthy to mention, if you have baseboard heaters in your unit, make sure the load transfer switch is in the heat position.
Your load transfer switch may not look identical to this depiction; however, each switch will have a similar appearance. Some will have a blue button, a black button, and a red button, instead of a switch. In this case, the blue button provides electricity to the outlet (this outlet often used for plugging in an air conditioning unit), the black button is a neutral button and will provide electricity to neither the heater nor the outlet, and the red button will provide electricity to the heater only. Your baseboard heater will not work properly if you do not have your load transfer switch in the right position.
The best advice for keeping your heat bill low is to attempt maintaining a constant temperature. If you have baseboard heaters, try keeping your temperature knob in the low position as long as possible initially. This will not provide immediate heat, but within an hour, the low setting will provide a moderate amount of heat to your unit. If the low setting is not providing enough heat to your unit, then turn your temperature knob to the medium setting. Keeping your baseboard heaters on high at all times will cause the devices to cycle on and off their highest setting, and this in turn will increase your heat bill.
In a similar fashion, units heated by furnace or any centralized heat with a thermostat should be set to a low to moderate temperature (69 – 72 degrees fahrenheit). This will accomplish the same maximum savings as mentioned above. If you set your thermostat to a high temperature, your furnace will constantly attempt to maintain that temperature, and in turn will use more power and cost you more. It is quite possible that you may find your unit too hot at some point, and you will lower the temperature it is set; and then the unit some time later may become too cold for comfort. This is why it is most cost effective to set your initial temperature to a low to moderate setting, and then adjust to your own comfort level.
It is best to allow the air in your unit to become heated and allow your heater to gradually maintain that temperature. The insulation in your unit will do more than you think. You will use less power and save more money! Stay warm out there, but don’t allow your unit to get too warm! There may be a high cost associated with providing summer heat in your unit during the winter.
Private Living & Customization
When you rent an apartment with University Edge, you will live in your own private quarters. As this may sound like a no brainer, there is more than meets the eye. Private living means you won’t have to share your amenities with the floor or any section of the building. Each apartment includes its own kitchen and bathroom; no shared appliances, no shared bathrooms. You won’t have to take your food to a common kitchen to do your cooking; you can enjoy the tranquility of creating your own culinary art in privacy.
Additionally, each unit includes its own 30 gallon hot water tank, so you won’t have to race against your neighbors in the morning to get a warm shower. Each unit has its own breaker box (located in the bedroom closet of all units), so you won’t have to make a special call if the power goes out during a storm. Simply flip your breakers back into the on position–don’t worry, if you are unsure how to access your breaker box, we will show you at the time of your move-in.
Private living is living best in our opinion. You will never be charged for someone else’s electricity use, and you have control over everything in your apartment!
Nevertheless, there maybe one thing nearly as enjoyable as private living: customization. You can customize many items in your apartment when you lease with University Edge. You will be able to choose your own room, rather than having your room assigned to you (like other firms). During tours, we show you model apartments–just to give you an idea of how you can arrange your furniture and show just how much you can fit in your unit. However, during tours, we can also show you the exact unit you would be leasing if you were to sign. This is always a good thing to ask on tours; if you would like to read more tips about touring apartments, check out my article called How to Become a Better Buyer. You will have the ability to choose what floor you’d like to live on as well as the unit’s location on the floor (as long as the apartment hasn’t already been leased).
You also have the opportunity to add brand new amenities to your apartment for a small monthly fee. As this mostly applies to our standard units, you are free to add something new to a renovated apartment as well–although our renovated apartments do include new appliances.
Our standard units have yet to renovated, and have older appliances included with the apartment. These older appliances are in working and proper condition, and if there were to be any complication, our maintenance team will replace any malfunctioning appliance as soon as possible. Nevertheless, if you are looking for a standard apartment, but you would like new appliance or amenities, you can add the following new items in your apartment:
- New Refrigerator, +$20/mo
- New Air Conditioner (studio apartments), +$15/mo
- New Air Conditioner (suites, 1bdrm, 2bdrm), +$25/mo
- New Oven & Range, +$20/mo
- New Mattress, +$10/mo
How University Edge Prepares for Your Move-in
Moving is never easy. In an effort to reduce the burdens of moving and make things a little easier on your stress filled day, we take move-ins serious! Moving can be a hassle, but having to clean your apartment before moving in all your things can be misery. We guarantee you will move into a cleaned and maintained apartment at University Edge, but we wanted to take the time to explain our process and how we prepare for your arrival so you too can be excited about moving!
Each apartment is inspected, cleaned, reconditioned, refreshed, and reinspected prior to your move-in.
If the apartment you lease is occupied prior to your move-in, we inspect the unit upon the previous tenant’s departure to assure no major repairs are necessary. If the apartment you lease is empty prior to your move-in, we inspect the unit shortly before you move-in.
The following items are examined thoroughly during the inspection:
- Refrigerator- confirm that both the interior of the appliance is clean and all fans and motors are running properly.
- Oven & Range- confirm that both the interior of the appliance is clean and unit’s wiring is in functioning order.
- Kitchen Sink & Lavatory- confirm that unit is draining properly and no water is leaking under cabinets.
- Toilet- confirm that toilet is flushing properly and no water is leaking from tank.
- Smoke Detectors- confirm both battery connection & wall connection are in proper order.
- Windows- confirm that windows are clean and no damages have been made to glass.
- Unit Door & Lock- confirm that unit’s door is in good condition and unit’s lock is functioning properly.
- Air Conditioner- confirm that fans and motors are functioning properly and that A/C unit is providing cool air.
**It is important for tenants to set up power to unit no less than one week in advance, or inspection may not be completed in its entirety. Setting up utilities is important not only for purposes of the move-in inspection, but also because the utility companies in Carbondale are flooded with work orders during summer move-in; you may not have power to your apartment for the first week of your lease if you do not contact Ameren early. If you need contact information for any utility company in Carbondale check out my post about How to Set Up Utilities in Carbondale. **
If the apartment you lease is occupied prior to your move-in, we clean the unit upon the previous tenant’s departure and after the unit has been inspected. If the apartment you lease is empty prior to your move-in, we clean the unit shortly after the signing of the lease agreement and inspect the unit thereafter.
Apartments are cleaned thoroughly in the following manner:
- All apartments floors are swept, mopped, and waxed (waxed where applicable).
- Carpets are cleaned using a professional carpet shampooer, and raked so carpet fibers stand upright.
- Refrigerators are defrosted and cleaned with all purpose cleaner. Ovens and stovetops are cleaned of all grease and debris.
- Cabinets are wiped out and cleaned with all purpose cleaning agent.
- All walls are wiped down with soap and water.
- Toilets are cleaned with bowl cleaner and entirely wiped down with foaming acid.
- Bath tubs and showers are too cleaned with foaming acid.
- Lavatory is cleaned with foaming acid.
- Medicine cabinet mirrors are cleaned with windex.
Next we recondition your apartment; from general maintenance to painting and everything in between, we make sure you are moving into an apartment in proper condition.
The reconditioning stage is the part of our process where maintenance brings your unit to like-new condition. Maintenance will touch up scratches and scuff marks on wall with paint, repair all damaged items, and ensure the functionality of the unit.
Your apartment is refreshed to perfect the finishing touches.
Shortly before your move-in, we clean your apartment one last time. Refreshing our units allows up to make one final inspection on your apartment. During the refresh, we wipe down all surfaces in the apartment, and make sure the unit is fully read for your arrival.
Lastly, your apartment is inspected one final time; this stage is concurrent with the refreshment stage. Here we plug in your appliances, turn off the lights, and lock the door, the next person to enter your apartment will be you!
Look for the note below, this ensures you that our process was completed prior to your move-in: