Habitat - May/June 2017 - 17

Colder weather means the heat comes on and energy
bills go up. Kelsey Rooks, Key Accounts Manager for
Georgia Power Company, noted many of the savings of
winter-related energy bills apply primarily to residents
and their behavior.
Some tips property managers can share:
* Ensure that HVAC filters are changed monthly. "This
will help units' air exchange and indoor air quality," Rooks said. "Dirty filters increase the system's
operating costs and can damage the equipment and
reduce efficiencies."
* Keep the heating vents and registers clear of drapery
and furniture. Regularly clean vent covers with the
vacuum or broom.
* If the unit has a hard surface, warm it up with rugs to
add comfort. "Any carpet method such as a large rug
adds to the heat retention," Rooks said.
* Consider adding a humidifier to increase the moisture
in the home. "That will allow a reduction in the thermostat settings without feeling colder," she said.

Ensure that there are no holes around water spigots. "Anything
that air can get into, water can get into and freeze," Hilton said.
"That can cause leaks."
But water isn't the only challenge. Rats, mice and other
rodents can take advantage of any opening as small as a quarter inch. Those are tenants no property owner wants.
Keeping the real residents happy means preventing HVAC
trouble-which, according to Murphy's law, happens only on
the coldest days of winter. Frozen pipes or busted water heaters also make for unhappy residents. Summer is prime time to
keep these in working order, Rooks said.
Wrapping water pipes can help reduce heat loss and prevent
water from freezing, Rooks said.
Maintaining HVAC units can extend the life of the system.
For gas units, a carbon dioxide detector should be in place in
each unit, Rooks said. Summer is a great time to ensure they are
operating properly and installed in the right location.
Water heaters benefit from insulation of pipes. Rooks recommends insulation with at least an R-6 value. If the warranty
allows, a water heater jacket can be installed but do not cover
the pressure release valve.
The wide swings in weather in the winter months-from tornados to ice storms-can be challenging to anticipate. But the
unpredictability doesn't excuse the need for a plan.
Hilton suggests that properties budget for winter maintenance needs such as snow removal or salting of parking lots and
sidewalks. "If you don't need it, you can use the money somewhere else," she said. "But if you do need it, you'd like to make
sure you have it available."
The same could be said of an emergency preparedness plan.
No matter the weather, extremes can create issues. Hilton

recommends that property managers work with restoration
companies on creating an emergency plan that includes pertinent contacts and information about the property.
"Gather those things now," she said. "You may not need them,
but five years from now when there is an emergency, having
those records available will save time and money. When was
the last time the roof was done? What's the status of the warranty? Who installed it? If staff has moved on, it may take some
time to track down all that information."
BluSky and other vendors can aggregate that information on
the web or via an app-which means that when a disaster happens, the restoration team is not in the office digging for paperwork like floor plans, site plans and water shutoff locations.
And when a natural disaster is pending, tapping into an
existing relationship will be easier than trying to form a new
one, Hilton said. If the coming storm is expected to be severe
enough, providing advanced authorization to the restoration
company will allow crews to get through any blockades by
local authorities.
But that doesn't mean a crew may be able to get there quickly,
especially if roads are blocked or detoured. In those cases, Hilton
recommends a property have some equipment on-site to deal
with immediate issues. "It may be expensive to have that in
place," she said. "But if you need it, it will be money well spent."
The notion that summer brings an easier schedule is best left
to songwriters. But a little preparation during these months
can make life easier for property managers and residents when
the cold winds blow. *

Mike Surgbally



✓ Home Repairs
✓ Renovations
✓ Painting
✓ Pressure Washing
✓ Janitorial
✓ Appliance and HVAC Repairs
✓ Lawn Service

P.O. Box 2065
Douglasville, GA 30134


862207_Jaygan.indd 1

M AY/J U N E 2 017


H A B2017-03-30
I T A T | 17
2:55 PM

http://www.Jaygangroupllc.com http://www.Jaygangroupllc.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Habitat - May/June 2017

Chair's Message
Legal Corner
Best Practices for Turning Apartments
Preparing for the Winter
Government Affairs
Up Close
Foundation Update
Volunteer’s Corner
AAA Platinum Patron Member Profile
AAA Gold Patron Member Profile
AAA Gold Patron Member Profile
New Members
Advertisers’ Index
Habitat - May/June 2017 - intro
Habitat - May/June 2017 - cover1
Habitat - May/June 2017 - cover2
Habitat - May/June 2017 - 3
Habitat - May/June 2017 - 4
Habitat - May/June 2017 - 5
Habitat - May/June 2017 - 6
Habitat - May/June 2017 - 7
Habitat - May/June 2017 - 8
Habitat - May/June 2017 - Chair's Message
Habitat - May/June 2017 - 10
Habitat - May/June 2017 - Legal Corner
Habitat - May/June 2017 - 12
Habitat - May/June 2017 - 13
Habitat - May/June 2017 - Best Practices for Turning Apartments
Habitat - May/June 2017 - 15
Habitat - May/June 2017 - Preparing for the Winter
Habitat - May/June 2017 - 17
Habitat - May/June 2017 - Government Affairs
Habitat - May/June 2017 - 19
Habitat - May/June 2017 - 20
Habitat - May/June 2017 - 21
Habitat - May/June 2017 - 22
Habitat - May/June 2017 - Up Close
Habitat - May/June 2017 - 24
Habitat - May/June 2017 - Foundation Update
Habitat - May/June 2017 - Volunteer’s Corner
Habitat - May/June 2017 - 27
Habitat - May/June 2017 - 28
Habitat - May/June 2017 - 29
Habitat - May/June 2017 - 30
Habitat - May/June 2017 - AAA Platinum Patron Member Profile
Habitat - May/June 2017 - 32
Habitat - May/June 2017 - AAA Gold Patron Member Profile
Habitat - May/June 2017 - 34
Habitat - May/June 2017 - AAA Gold Patron Member Profile
Habitat - May/June 2017 - New Members
Habitat - May/June 2017 - 37
Habitat - May/June 2017 - Advertisers’ Index
Habitat - May/June 2017 - cover3
Habitat - May/June 2017 - cover4