Category Archives: Maintenance

How to: Change Your A/C Filter

Don't let this be you! Ick!

With the warmer months approaching, we are going to start running the A/C in our apartments.  So, I thought we should discuss the maintenance/changing of air filters.

For Window Units:

  1. Take the filter out of the window unit.
  2. Turn the filter so that the debris side is facing away from the water. Run it under water and the dust should push right off.  (The mighty Quinn, head of maintenance, recommends using the bathtub to do this chore.)
  3. Let it air dry completely and replace back in the unit.

For Central Units

  1. Depending on your unit, you will need to find the location of the A/C unit.  For some it is in the mechanical closet in the actual A/C unit.  In others, it is behind the grate in your hallway.  If you can’t locate the filter in your hallway, then it is in your kitchen.
  2. Once the filter is located, you will need to pull out the filter.  In some units there will be threaded knobs you will have to unscrew, but it is pretty much self-explanatory.
  3. Pull out the filter and determine the size.  Go buy a new one.* Wal-Mart has the biggest selection of filter sizes and brands. You might want to buy in bulk because…
  4. You will need to replace the filter every 30 days.  Replacing your air filter every 30 days is important because…
    1. It improves air quality in your apartment by removing dust and allergens.
    2. It reduces the amount of energy needed to cool your apartment by improving the unit’s efficiency.

If you want more information, there are tons of videos on you tube about changing an A/C filter, and as always, if you can’t locate the unit, we will be happy to help you!

À la prochain,

Kim

*If you live in the 300 and 400 building of Windsor Hill, then you are lucky! The filters in your units are a weird size and only we can order them.  Let us know and we will provide them so you can replace them.

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How to: Re-set a Breaker

This is an example of what a typical breaker box will look like.

For the first in our series of how-to, we are going to teach you how to re-set a breaker.

  1. Find the breaker box. If you don’t know where it is, call us and ask us.
  2. Determine if it is the GFI breaker or GFI receptacle. (Receptacles are located on the wall in all Windsor Hill bathrooms).
  3. If not, locate the switch that is in the off position (they will be labeled) or that is partially popped out of place.
  4. Put switch in off position then back in on position.
  5. This is an example of a typical GFI receptacle. The red button is the reset button.

    If that doesn’t work, then call us and report the problem. Please mention that you have reset the breaker, but ONLY IF, you have indeed done it.

That’s it! Now you know how to re-set that breaker and will be able to instantly fix those small  electrical problems.

*Our head of maintenance extraordinaire, Quinn Stephens,  will be consulting on the how-to posts, so you know you are getting quality information!

Turning in Maintenance Requests

One of the most common calls we receive from tenants is the maintenance request.  My hope is that this post will help you turn in a maintenance issue quickly, efficiently, and painlessly.

Maintenance Issue during Office Hours

To turn in a maintenance issue during our office hours of 8-5 Monday through Friday, you need to call our main office number at 205-345-1440.  When our office staff answers the phone, simply tell them that you would like to turn in a maintenance request then give them the following information:

  1. Your name
  2. Where you live–this means the property AND the apartment number.
  3. Then give us a detailed description that tells us the problem, the location of the issue, and any steps you might have taken to solve the issue.

Here are some examples of incorrect and correct maintenance requests:

Incorrect

“My A/C doesn’t work”

Correct

“Hi, I would like to turn in a maintenance request…This is Mickey Mouse at 314 Bryant Drive…my A/C is blowing, but the air is not cold. Thank you”

Incorrect

“My faucet is dripping.” or “My faucet won’t stop running”

Correct

“Hi, I would like to turn in a maintenance request…This is Big AL of 622 Quail Valley…the bathroom sink in the hallway has a constant drip coming from the spigot.”

Or

““Hi, I would like to turn in a maintenance request…This is Lucy Ricardo of 315-D Cedar Crest Square…the bathroom sink upstairs has a steady leak coming from the pipes underneath the sink. I have placed a bowl underneath to catch the water and would appreciate your attention to the matter as soon as possible”

Finally, we do care very much about getting your issues fixed in a timely manner, but you should know that maintenance is like medical triage. We get to the list, but if an emergency comes in that gets priority.  Issues that are considered priority are busted pipes, A/C during summer and heat during winter (esp. for our elderly tenants), defrosting refrigerators, and boarding up windows after a break-in or severe weather.

Emergency Maintenance Issue

First, you need to determine if it is in fact an emergency. Leaks that might flood the apartment, problems with heating or cooling in severe temperature extremes, defrosting refrigerators, and boarding up windows after a break-in or severe weather are considered after-hour emergencies just as they are considered priorities during office hours.  If your situation fits, call the main number 345-1440, and an answering service will send out our maintenance crew. If you are unsure if a leak fits the criteria, call the answering service, and a trained technician will make the call for you. Just know that if you misrepresent the situation, you will be charged $60.00 per hour.

Thanks,

Kate