Moving is stressful, and after you’ve finally unpacked your necessities in your new home, it’s hard not to relax after the hustle and bustle. And while every renter deserves a little time to recharge after the moving process, you probably don’t want to relax just yet. Before you officially settle in, don’t forget to put on your detective hat and locate important items and perform these essential tasks.
Locate the Water Shut Off Valves:
There are few things messier and more potentially damaging to the property than a large water leak. In fact, accidental water damage is one of the most common insurance claims in the United States. Whether you are dealing with a frozen and or burst pipe, or you are simply having other plumbing issues, you do not want to waste time searching for the location of the water shut-off valves.
Water damage is extremely common and equally costly, so take a moment now to help your future self. Shutting off the water valve is the most reliable way to stop the source of the leak and mitigate the damages. Make certain that you know where shut-off valves are located within your rental; most homes will have a valve shut off in the kitchen and in bathrooms on the toilets. If you are renting a single-family home and not an apartment, it can be helpful to know where your house’s master water shut-off is located on the property. You may need to call your landlord and municipal water provider to send someone to shut off the water if it’s located outside, but at least if you have already found the valve, you will shave precious minutes off of the process.
Find and Change the HVAC Filter:
Your heating and cooling system likely utilizes a replaceable filter to ensure good airflow and less wear and tear to the system. Changing these filters can help keep your home’s air cleaner and will keep your electric bill lower since the system won’t be overcompensating for poor airflow due to a dirty filter. To protect the HVAC, most landlords require their tenants to change their filters seasonally (monthly is recommended if you have pets). Unfortunately, some renters are not great at following through with this task. Do yourself a favor and find the filter’s location and size requirements now, if the last tenant didn’t change the filter, you will want to do it right away to keep your first month’s electric costs down.
Take Note of Where the Circuit Breaker Box is Located:
In an emergency, like a contained electrical fire, you will want to turn off all the power in the house, if you can safely do so. In a less-troubling circumstance, you may simply need to replace a fuse or reset a circuit breaker if too many electronics were running simultaneously. If there’s an electrical fire, you certainly won’t want to waste time searching for the circuit breakers, and you won’t want to work in the dark to find it if there’s a power outage. Circuit breakers are typically located in basements or garages, in storage closets, or in hallways. Find it now, and take note for the future.
Locate Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors:
Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are vital for your safety and are likely required features in your rental. While they are designed to protect you and others living in your home or apartment, these tools only remain effective if they are regularly inspected. Find and test your new place’s smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Find Your Emergency Routes:
On the note of fire safety, if you live in an apartment building, be sure to locate your apartment’s emergency exits and emergency escape routes. Make sure that any others that live with you are also familiarized with these routes. An emergency can happen at any time, so don’t delay. Finding out this information is even more imperative if you are still unfamiliar with the building’s layout in general.
Moving into your new place can be a surprising combination of scary, exciting, and stressful. From start to finish the moving process can be a taxing one, and it’s natural to want to sit back and relax after all is said and done. Before you do, make sure you locate these essential spots to prevent a headache or a safety concern down the road.