Oh, the joys of renting.
This winter, we’ve discovered something about our apartment that really sucks. Actually, we discovered it during the summer, but the cold weather amplifies this problem quite a bit. Our problem? The air conditioning/heating system is not nearly powerful enough for the whole apartment.
More specifically, the system cools and/or heats the immediate area surrounding it — meaning the living room, kitchen and my daughter’s bedroom. And even in the living room, only the area right under the vents is affected. Our master bedroom gets very little air flow, even after we closed vents in the bathrooms and dining room to try to direct more flow to our bedroom.
During the summer, this wasn’t so bad, because the apartment never got that hot, and we can always use a fan at night. But when it’s 15 degrees outside? All I can say is “Brrrrrr!”
We’ve also learned from other residents — and the property managers — that this problem is not unique to our apartment. And from their nonchalant attitude about it, it is quite apparent they have no intention of fixing the problem any time soon.
So after putting in work orders, bundling up and suffering through the cold at night for a couple of weeks, we finally broke down and got a space heater. I was tempted to buy a Snuggie first though. (KIDDING!)
But all of this raises a point about renting. As great as it is to have a no- or at least low-maintenance living situation, I often wish we lived in our own home so we could make changes that either:
- The property managers won’t fix
- That could seriously reduce our carbon footprint, but would require more freedom than we are allowed as renters
Clearly, our apartment needs to be better insulated and the HVAC system replaced with something that is actually powerful enough — and ideally something that is also more energy efficient. But these aren’t the only changes I wish we could make. We’d insulate our water heater, use rain barrels and do at least a dozen other things if we could.
So if you’re a homeowner, take advantage of the fact that you have the freedom to make changes that can have a huge impact not just on the Earth, but on your pocket. Take a look at the One Million Acts of Green website for ideas. And while you’re at it, send reminders to a couple of friends that they can do the same with the Gift of Green Facebook app. Even if you’re friends aren’t on Facebook, you can still send them an email reminding them to run their dishwasher only when it’s full or open their curtains during cold winter days to allow more heat in through the windows. In other words, do whatever you can, but do something.
Disclosure: Rockfish Interactive, in partnership with Cisco, has compensated me for my time on this campaign. All opinions and thoughts are my own, as always. For more information, please read my disclosure policy. See what the other green bloggers have to say: Sommer from Green and Clean Mom, Lisa at Condo Blues and Amy at Crunchy Domestic Goddess. (sponsored opp)