You’ve had a horrible winter. No, we don’t have psychic powers – it happened to us all. Summer ended in early October, skipped autumn altogether and transitioned almost straight away into sub zero temperatures, named storms, hurricanes, and snow which hung around until March. In some parts of the UK, there was was ice on the roads up until mid April thanks to the ‘Beast From The East’ parts I and II.
And there’s a fair chance that during the extended foul weather you made up your mind to move house as soon as you could. Maybe it was your landlords delayed response when the water pipes froze and burst. Perhaps it was the realisation of just how much energy your home uses when you’re attempting to stave off death by hypothermia. It could simply be that you became sick of seeing the same four walls day after day when you were blocked in by snowdrifts and wondering which parts of your significant other you’d be forced to eat first.
And now summer is here. Spring went absent without leave, and at the time of writing, it’s 28C, and you’re eyeing up the ads on Gumtree, phoning estate agents, and arranging viewings.
It’s every landlord’s wet dream. Gorgeous weather shows any property in its best light, and the moment a potential tenant finds welcome relief by walking into a cool interior from the hot street, the property is as good as let. That’s not even taking into account the natural high and endorphin overload that comes with longer days and the prospect of cold drinks in the garden.
But don’t be fooled. A ever, landlords only want two things – your rent on a regular basis, and a commitment to stay in the property for an extended period.
You need to be on your guard against the temptation to sign your life away simply because you can imagine filling the paddling pool with ice cold champagne and frolicking the summer away.
Natural light is a big seller – but it won’t be there during the fast approaching winter months, when the world is grey and grim. Right now, you might be wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes from the blinding glare of the sun. That’s sensible, and what’s even more sensible is if you keep them on when viewing the interior of a property. You won’t get any of the benefit from the natural light, and you’ll gain an idea of what it’ll be like six months down the line, when the nights are drawing in and you’re suffering from a vitamin D deficiency.
If your landlord is anxious to show off the lush, verdant outdoor amenities to potential tenants, the chances are good that there will be a hosepipe in the garden to keep the foliage fresh. It won’t be fresh when winter comes around again. If you ask your letting agent to spray the water against the living room window while you’re inside, you can get a real feel for how it feels to be trapped inside while devastating storm rage down the cul-de-sac (Remember to keep the sunglasses on for maximum effect).
Thanks to recent legislation, all property owners must be upfront about the energy efficiency of their buildings, and the worst offenders have been banished from the market altogether. But there’s no better way of getting a feel for the properties of a property than actually getting a feel of it.
Building insulation doesn’t only keep internally generated heat inside the building, it also keeps externally generated heat out.
One easy way of testing the rate of thermal ingress is to ensure that all of the windows and doors in the property are shut tight. Pick a small room, and wait for the temperature to rise. A portable thermometer would be useful if you want a visualisation of the rocketing heat. The quicker a room heats up in the summer, the quicker it will lose heat in the winter.
To ensure that your own body heat doesn’t influence the experiment, take care to wear several layers of insulation such as jumpers, coats and vests.
And do try not to pass out.
Image credit: Jaap Kramer