Stop Leaky Faucets and Run-on Toilets AS IF you have a water emergency!
The larger single item in the annual budget of the Association is the quarterly water and sewer invoice from the City of Ann Arbor. As water comes in and is used (or drips) at a condo, every gallon is charged for at whatever rate the City has set. Then, the same supply number is used to bill the Association a second time at whatever the sewage treatment plant rate is (typically higher per unit than the treated water supply rate). PLEASE avoid double trouble by fixing FAST any water leaks that you encounter during your ownership and residency at Barclay Park. When leaks go unrepaired, City use-monitoring software (for water) assesses a substantial EXTRA charge to the user (BP); and the Association will pass any such fees back to the individual condo owner who has allowed leak(s) to go unrepaired. Similarly, report to management any outdoor water leaks (spigot or sprinkler), as their prompt repair is also essential to constraining “Barclay’s Biggest Bill”. Thanks!
Change or clean your furnace filter every three months!
Why? Because when either heating or air conditioning are used, the furnace filter filters all of the intake air for your condo. Efficiency of both systems, therefore, increase if the furnace filter is clean. The exemption to this rule of thumb would be if there is no use of the furnace for an extended period, e.g., no use of air conditioning in non-heating months.
Check the condensation (drain) line from your furnace air conditioning unit!
Make certain that the drain line that carries away moisture pulled from the indoor air does NOT become plugged. If the A/C drain line plugs up (dirt, dust or other blockage), water will leak onto and through the floor. This will damage either your condo or your neighbors – and result in liabilities that may be costly (and confusing for your condo insurance carrier). Find the drain line, after move-in, and check it no less than annually.
Do not block vents for either heating or return air!
Vents are the lungs of your condo’s HVAC system. There must be both a supply of air to the furnace (return air) and unimpeded delivery of heated (or cooled) air through the ducts to all rooms of the condo that are in use. The blower motor in the furnace is the circulating engine of this system. Make sure all return and supply vents are not blocked.
Water collection PAN under upstairs (Providence) water heaters!
Unless as a condo owner you have changed-over to a “tankless” water heater (which supplies hot water only “on demand”, i.e., when a hot water faucet is turned on), you have a pressurized metal TANK of hot water in the mechanical room of your condo. When it leaks or the bottom of the tank rusts through, as eventually all hot water heating tanks do, it will first drip water from the leak — then gush. Especially for upstairs Providence condos, preventing a major “gush” is in everyone’s best interests. This can be done by having a handy person install a water collection pan UNDER your condo’s hot water tank.
Minimize Neighborly Noise
In multi-condo buildings, wall and floor noise transmission can be one of the trickier tests for living by The Golden Rule, i.e., treating one’s neighbors as you would like to be treated. Through its first decade, the following FIVE TIPS for noise abatement have risen to the top of care and repair upgrades you (or neighbors with a noise problem) might want to try. (Please contact management with additional ideas and solutions that you come up with. Thanks!)
1. Use carpet with thick and more dense rebond pad on floors.
2. Endeavor to respect your immediate neighbor(s) quiet time and sleep cycle – by avoiding noise-making to the extent possible during these hours of the day or night.
3. Change the iron garage door rollers to plastic – and the noisy garage door retraction device to a “silent” opener. BP’s Maintenance Coordinator offers a special price for this upgrade. Providence owners, in particular, can help their neighbors in the lower Concord condo units by doing this, as the Concord bedroom is built directly over the Providence garage.
4. When changes are made to exposed or shared (party) walls, floors or ceilings give consideration to the option of upgrading with extra insulation (e.g., closed cell spray foam). Noise can be virtually eliminated thorough sealing out air infiltration (normal through brick, boards and fiberglass). The addition of sound board under new drywall is another possibility (even over a new thin furred-out air space).
5. When changes are made to windows, consider upgrading to triple-glazing, 3-pane option that will not only noise transmission reduce but cut energy use as well (whether for heat in the winter or cooler air in the summer).