Category Archives: Utilities

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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Connecting Utilities

Connecting your utilities is not particularly difficult, but takes a little patience and a little know-how.   Hopefully the tips in this post can help make the process easier.

A common misunderstanding is that if the utilities are on, they will just automatically send the bill to your residence.  Well, no.  You must have them transferred in your name. I cannot tell you how many times tenants have been unaware of that step and had to pay two or three months of bills at one time because they did not transfer power or water to their name. Please don’t let that be you!

If you are a student, you can go to the Off-Campus Association (OCA), and they will deal with setting up your power, water, and gas.  They are a really awesome organization because not only do they save you the time and hassle of contacting the utility companies, but they also help college students with the deposits required by each company. Here is their webaddress and you can join at their website!

http://www.offcampusassociation.com/

With that said, if you are not a student, you should be prepared to pay deposits and connection fees for each connection.  For example, I know Tuscaloosa water requires an 80 dollar deposit and Alabama Power requires a 40 dollar connection fee.

Another way to save time and hassle is to call and set-up your service in advance. As soon as you know where you will be living and when you will be moving in, set up the transfer or connection. If you wait until August to do so, you will be one of thousands trying to do the same thing.  Calling the utility company in June or earlier allows you to beat the rush and talk with a much less harried employee.

Here is the contact info for each utility that you might need.

  1. Alabama Power
    1-800-245-2244
    http://www.alabamapower.com/
  2. Tuscaloosa Water
    (205) 349-0230
    http://www.ci.tuscaloosa.al.us/index.aspx?NID=64
    They are very busy and short staffed, so calling earlier in the morning is less of a headache.
  3. Alagasco
    (205) 759-2501
    http://www.alagasco.com/
    If gas heat is the only thing you have and you want to hold off till it starts getting cold, you should plan ahead and have the gas company come out in October.  Yes, I know we live in Alabama, but if there is a cold snap and you call us after-hours for no heat and we go out, you WILL be charged if your gas is not on! PLAN AHEAD!!!
  4. Comcast
    (205) 345-0424
    http://www.comcast.com/
    Yes, I know they have a bad rap, but remember you catch more flies with sugar than you do…
  5. AT&T
    1-800-288-2020
    http://www.att.com/
    If you live off-campus, check their website and see if you are eligible for AT&T U-verse (cable) and DSL Internet.

 I do hope all these tips will help make the connection process easier. Good Luck!

À la prochain!
Kim