How to Keep Your Apartment Cool

how to keep apartment cool - How to Keep Your Apartment Cool

Images Source: Pexels

If you’re struggling to find a balance between a high energy bill and a nice, cool, apartment, you’re not alone. Lucky for you, there are plenty of ways to keep your apartment at a decent temperature without having to constantly run your air conditioner.

Install a Window Film to Block Heat

Not all apartments will have energy-efficient windows. If you want to enjoy natural lighting without letting the heat in, window film is a wonderful way to get the best of both worlds. You’ll be able to keep your blinds open and soak up the rays, without having to crank up the AC to counter it. The film sticks to the glass and prevents the heat from getting in.

You can get it from your local hardware store in a variety of configurations. Privacy window film will make it harder to see into your apartment from the outside, too. Make sure you buy something that offers thermal protection.

Close Your Curtains During the Hottest Parts of the Day

If you’d rather not install the film, you can just close your curtains at certain points of the day.

Typically, the hottest part of the day is between 3 and 4 pm. Keep your curtains and blinds closed during this time of day to prevent more of the natural heat from seeping into your home through the glass.

If you don’t mind a darker room, or work third shift, you’ll get even better results by investing in black-out curtains. Beyond blocking the light so you can sleep, the weave also keeps heat from getting through.

Make Sure Your Ceiling Fan Blades Spin in the Right Direction

If your apartment has ceiling fans, make them work for you. In the summer, your fan will provide more of a breeze if the blades spin counterclockwise. This can help you stay cool without having to use as much energy.

In the winter, you should switch them clockwise so that warm air that rises to the top of the room gets pushed down toward you.

Close Doors of Rooms Not in Use

Air constantly moves throughout your apartment. To maximize airflow and direct cooler air, close the doors to rooms that aren’t in use. Keep your bedroom and bathroom doors open so that the cool air will flow to the rooms where you need it.

Use Portable Fans

Fans won’t cool the room, but they will cool you if you’re in the room. If you have more than one fan, place them so that the air is blowing at you from multiple directions.

If you use a box fan in a window, face it out the window, rather than at you. It won’t blow cooler air on you, but it will work to pull the warm air out of your apartment and send it back outside.

No matter how hot the temperatures get in the summer, you’ll be able to keep yourself nice and cool with these tips. BONUS TIP: Use the exhaust fan above your stove and in your bathroom when you first get home, to pull out the hot air that has stagnated all day. It’ll make it easier for your air conditioner to cool things down.

BIO:

Karstine Sanchez is a freelance writer and content marketer with Allstate Roofing. She enjoys writing home decor, maintenance, and improvement.

Five Tips for Staying Out of Jail

There you are, working away, minding your own business, just trying to make your way in life. Then the boys in blue show up and take you away to jail! How inconvenient.
Here’s a couple of tips to help keep that from happening:

  1. It’s not about you. We just said that you were behaving yourself and working hard. You’re a model citizen.
  2. It’s about them. What about that party you’re planning? Have you thought about the guest list beyond just compatibility? Are you still going to invite Old Uncle Gus the gangster thug? Is that a good idea?
  3. You’re responsible for the conduct of your guests. Any trouble they cause, stuff they bust or laws they break could blow back on you. Remember what your mother told you about the company you keep? Turns out she was right.
  4. What about your own? How many times have we seen it that Smiling Innocent Junior is secretly dealing drugs out of his or her parents’ apartment? Try explaining to the blue boys that you knew nothing about that. They’re going to think you were the brains behind the operation!
  5. That’s what insurance is for. Hey, you got all your stuff at a garage sale anyway, so why bother with renter’s insurance? But what if your stove fire burns down the whole building and somebody gets hurt? Once again, you’re wearing the orange and looking through those bars. Better get renter’s insurance, it can be as little as $8-$10 per month.

 

stay out of jail - Five Tips for Staying Out of Jail

Making Your Small Place Feel Like A Big Space

There aren’t many of us that live in a place that is as big as we’d like. We have to work with what we got. Luckily, there are ways to make your place feel bigger without adding any square footage. And unless you have serious space issues like sharing one bathroom between five people, coping with a smaller living space can be done with a few easy steps.

The accompanying guide contains many ideas for making a small space feel bigger by using elements of design. Things like color, texture, shapes and angles can make a place feel bigger without gaining square footage. One way to achieve this is going with a monochromatic color palette. This helps a room feel air and open as opposed to a room with lots of contrast. Choosing accents such a curtains made of light fabrics and furniture with long thin, legs can also contribute to the impression that the space is a lot larger than it really is. Walls and floors can be accentuated with striped elements that help guide the eye horizontally or vertically to create the feeling of additional height or width, as well.

Mastering these simple design elements and using psychology to your advantage will help your small place feel like a big space, making your more comfortable and more accepting of your home. For more ideas, continue reading!

How to Beat Clutter – Part 3

How are you doing with all that clutter? Should we send you your own dumpster? Keep going with these final tips in Part 3 in How to Beat Clutter:

19. Go vertical. If you weren’t convinced to get rid of those single use seldom used kitchen gadgets, at least store them up high in your cabinets. Think altitude for those seldom used items.
20. Banish dusting. If you have some display items that you just can’t part with, consider putting them in a display case where they won’t accumulate dust and require attention.
21. Banish swag. You may be the king of free stuff, but do you really need another T-shirt, water bottle, calendar or another bobble head doll?
22. Hello garage sale. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Swap your junk for some cash.
23. Put your closets on overtime. Most closets just have a standard pole and shelf. Maybe yours needs a custom closet job with storage towers and shoe racks.
24. Think big. Maybe there’s just too much furniture in your house. Less is more. Less looks cleaner.
25. Think multi-purpose in furniture. Maybe a trunk doubles as a coffee table. Or a bench with storage below. Beds with built in drawers at the floor.
26. Make purging a habit. Put it on the calendar for once a month.
27. Keep a donation box handy. And keep filling it.

clutter part3 1024x400 - How to Beat Clutter - Part 3

How to Beat Clutter – Part 2

We’re back for Part 2 in How to Beat Clutter:

10. Lists, lists everywhere. Where did I put that list? Maybe you have lists that are turning into clutter. Would a wipe off board work better? Or maybe you should go electronic.

11. Think of new storage solutions. There are low profile bins with wheels designed to slide under a bed. Get creative and turn dead space into seasonal storage areas.

12. Don’t buy if you can rent. Try not to buy anything you’ll only use once.

13. Think registries. If you’re getting married or for whatever reason expecting gifts, make the gift givers aware of what you really want somehow. Otherwise, you’re going to wind up with a bunch of junk you don’t want that you think you have to keep.

14. Think quality versus quantity. Another idea for those gift givers.

15. Limit souvenirs. Do you really want to tote that stuff around the rest of your life?

16. Think scanner. Scan those documents and old photos and file them electronically.

17. Think streaming. And get rid of those old movies that are cluttering up the joint.

18. What about the garage? Has it become a dumping ground? Think of it like any other room in the house and get busy.

Come back next time for the third and final installment of How to Beat Clutter.

clutter part2 1024x596 - How to Beat Clutter - Part 2

How to Beat Clutter – Part 1

Hey, if we don’t do something about all of the junk around here, we’re going to wind up on that TV show about hoarders!
What to do? Here’s the first installment of 27 tips to reduce clutter.

  1. Start small. Maybe just a closet or even the corner of a room. You don’t have to tackle the whole job at once.
  2. Think momentum. This is the natural offspring of starting small. The whole job may seem huge, but just get started. It may not be as bad as you think. Once you’re rolling, maybe you won’t want to stop.
  3. Banish the clutter. It’s not enough to clear out the clutter. It’s just going to pile up again if you don’t figure out where it’s coming from. You need fresh strategies to keep out of the clutter club forever.
  4. Be disciplined about getting rid of stuff. Yes, it’s still perfectly good. And you paid good money for that. But you haven’t worn it or used it in a year. And you aren’t going to wear it or use it in another year. Donate or dump it.
  5. Make space for essentials. Something you use all the time? Make a spot for it and always put it there.
  6. In with the new, out with the old. We can’t possibly need more stuff. So if you buy something new, something old has to go. This works particularly well in your clothes closet.
  7. Unsubscribe! Tell the mail order house to stop sending you those catalogs. This idea even extends to email. Electronic clutter is still clutter. Start a clutter free lifestyle that extends to all facets of your life.
  8. Establish a drop zone. Shoes, shopping bags, coats, sports gear and purses go here.
  9. Think multipurpose. Your more likely to use a multi-function item than have it accumulate dust. Swiss army knife anyone? Or think about multi-purpose kitchen gadgets.

Come back next time for Part 2 in How to Beat Clutter.

Keeping Clean During Covid

With the vaccine already being distributed, hopefully this will all soon be a bad memory. But there may be a new standard in cleanliness that we all feel more comfortable with moving into the future. So here are a few tips on how to clean whether you’re trying to protect yourself from Covid or from spreading the flu:

  1. Start with you. Wash your hands. If your currently ailing, consider wearing a mask so you don’t recontaminate surfaces. If you’re going to be using harsh chemicals, wear gloves.
  2. Put some music on. Unless cleaning is your favorite activity, maybe you want something that helps put a little swing to your swifter.
  3. Take a balanced approach. There’s no need to use a powerful disinfectant on every surface. High touch items perhaps yes. If there’s someone sick in your household, then the cleaning efforts ramps up accordingly.
  4. Be careful. Don’t use bleach on porous surfaces. Don’t mix chemicals on your own as dangerous gasses can result.
  5. Go green. Worried about the environment? Here’s your chance to do your part. There are plenty of planet friendly alternatives. Art of Green is one product line that appears to have been tested and is easy on skin and good for the environment.
  6. Celebrate. Allow yourself a reward for a job well done.

How to Clean a Stained Bathtub

Nothing beats a cold or hot shower in a bathtub, especially after having a long day. However, with time, slime accumulates on the surface causing discoloration of the tub’s surface. You may even detest using the tub since some of these substances may even pose a health-risk to members of your household. You may be wondering why they keep accumulating while you attempt to clean the tub every time you bathe.

Soap and water have always been the go-to items for this type of cleaning. Well, the remnants of soap, shampoo residuals, and oil from your body form the grime and scum that’s quite hard to remove. Luckily, there are commercial products, as well as homemade remedies to make cleaning your bathtub easier than you thought. But even with the right products, you may not be successful if you don’t do it right. Keep reading to learn the do’s and don’ts of cleaning your bathtub.

BATHTUB - How to Clean a Stained Bathtub

Types of bathtubs

Acrylic – This is a material made from petroleum by-products. It’s resistant to cracking, staining, and discoloration. But, it’s prone to scratching.
Fiberglass – Most budget-friendly bathtubs are made of this material. However, since it comprises several layers and a final resin coat spray, the surface, and coloring don’t always match. These tubs also fade pretty fast.
Porcelain Enamel – This material is more durable than acrylic and fiberglass, but it’s also prone to chipping and rust. You also can’t clean it with bleach, for you’ll cause discoloration.

How to Clean your Bathtub

Based on this article from Spekless Cleaning, it’s important to understand the various types of products to clean your bathtub effectively.

You can either clean using commercial products or homemade products.

Commercial products – For starters, make sure you have protective gloves when using these products. There are many products available in the market today, so check-out for recommendations from professionals, or consult a trusted dealer.

Natural Methods – Did you know that you may have some useful DIY cleaning agents in your cabinet? Using this approach is safe, especially when you have young kids and pets. Some of the products you can use include baking soda. A mixture of two to three spoons of baking soda and water can remove even the toughest stains. Other items include grapefruit, salt, borax, lemon, essential oils, and castile soap. Vinegar can be added to most of these pastes to make them more useful. It’s also good at eliminating bad odors in your bathroom.

cleaning ingredients - How to Clean a Stained Bathtub

Do’s
● Before applying any cleaning agent, pre-rinse the tub using a moist cloth, or a detachable showerhead. This ensures that you remove some of the easy to clean dirt, before you get to the tough stains.
● Use a sponge, grout brush, or toothbrush to clean the surface of the tub, the drain, and faucet, respectively. These tools are softer, ensuring that your tub lasts long as you clean it regularly.
● After cleaning, rinse with a lot of water. This helps wash away all the residuals from the surface of the tub after scrubbing.
● Whichever product you choose, read the instructions carefully. Some of the commercial products have some strong smells. Therefore, make sure there’s enough air circulation as you clean. If the scent is too strong, you can get some fresh air, or even use a respiratory mask.
● Clean more often, at least once a week, to prevent the accumulation of scum. Also, simple actions like rinsing the tub after your bathe will significantly help to keep it clean.
● Invest in a shower spray. It may be expensive but spraying your tub now and then prevents the soap residuals, and grime to accumulate.

Don’ts

● Avoid abrasive tools and chemicals that could chip your bathtub, or cause discoloration.
● Do not mix any of the products. They all have different compositions. When combined, they could trigger reactions that are harmful to your health.
● Do not store books, towels, clothing, or cleaning products close to the bathtub. They retain a lot of the moisture, creating dampness within the bathroom. If your tub is chipped, this may lead to growth of mold in these cracks.

The Take-Away

By using the right materials and the proper techniques; you can get rid of the grime and scum in less than ten minutes.
Do not forget to rinse it after bathing, or use the shower spray, to make your job more comfortable when it’s time to clean. Always clean the faucets, drains, showerheads, and the ceiling to prevent the dirt from ever ending up on the tub. Also, avoid storing any materials that retain moisture close to the tub. These materials include books, newspapers, and towels.

For a worry-free experience, you can always hire a Professional Cleaning Service. One of the most recommended DC Cleaning Services is Spekless Cleaning.

Clean Your Walls To Maximize Your Security Deposit Return

Dirty walls are one reason many renters fail to get back their whole security deposit. However, it is a repairable issue. Whether you’re dealing with dirt, grease, crayons or markers, ink or water stains, there is usually a cleaning product that can address the mess. One of the most important tips to keep in mind is to start gently and work your way up to a tougher solution.

The following article will provide information on the best techniques to clean your walls and other painted surfaces. If you follow these tips, you’ll stand a better chance of getting back that security deposit.

Telling Damage From Normal Wear and Tear

Sometimes it can be tricky to tell damage apart from regular scuff marks. Your landlord may use your security deposit to repaint, but it’s helpful to know when reasonable wear and tear has occurred as opposed to more severe destruction. The Rental Housing Act states that a property needs to be in an acceptable clean state once a tenant has vacated the property. However, the security deposit can only be used for damages and not to freshen a property for a new tenant.

That said, the matter depends on the contractual agreement presented in the lease. The landlord must be specific if he or she requires repainting, carpet cleaning or other maintenance before a tenant vacates the premises. If the lease does demand clean walls upon leaving, there are ways to ensure that you don’t leave permanent damage and maximize your security deposit.

How to Clean Your Walls

Before you get started, evaluate the walls to determine the level of cleaning you’ll need to do. Sometimes a simple all-purpose cleaner or eraser may be your ticket to a fresh residence. Other times, more aggressive methods are required. To avoid any unnecessary work, follow our steps for spotless walls.

  1. Try to figure out what kind of paint is on the wall: If you’re an experienced handyperson, you can probably tell at first glance whether the walls are painted with a semi-gloss, enamel, flat, stain or eggshell finish. If not, ask your landlord.
  2. Dust the walls: It may seem silly but running a vacuum attachment over the wall can be a simple way to remove surface dirt, which is often a main cause of visible wear.
  3. Lay towels or sheets on the floor for protection: The last thing you want is to damage the floor while you’re cleaning the walls. Laying a protective barrier on the floor can catch any water or paint drips.
  4. Obtain a cleaning solution: This is possibly the most critical part of the process. Start by wiping the walls with a damp cloth. Water can usually remove most surface dirt that isn’t ingrained in the paint. If water doesn’t suffice, create a mixture using warm water and a bit of dishwashing soap. For even tougher stains, carefully mix half a cup of vinegar, one fourth cup of baking soda and a cup of ammonia into a gallon of water. You could also make paste with baking soda and warm water. In any case, don’t scrub too hard because you risk chipping the paint.
  5. Use proper cleaning techniques for maximum effect: Start at the top and move downward to cover every area of the wall. It may also help to have one bucket for the cleaning solution and one for clean water. Use a damp — not wet — sponge, cloth or rag. Dry with a separate towel to avoid streaks or further damage.

In some cases, stains can’t be removed with water or basic cleaning solutions. Scratches, holes or deep scuffs on the wall may need to be sealed and repainted if the damage is too great. Hopefully you can catch any issues before they get too serious. However, knowing the root of a problem could maximize your security deposit return and save you the headache of an argument with the landlord.

cleaning walls - Clean Your Walls To Maximize Your Security Deposit Return

Author bio: Steve A. Parker is Director of Communications at Raider Painting, a California-based commercial and industrial painting company. It is committed to providing solutions that enhance and prolong the life of your workspaces and equipment.