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How Healthy Is Your Air Conditioner?

It's June. Walk down the street and you can already hear the hum of air conditioners.

Some are — forgive us — cool customers, making people happy without killing their wallets. Others will make you poor and sick.

The difference? Filters. It's easier to circulate air through a clean filter, of course — and do you really want your AC unit forcing dust, pet dander, and other nasty things back into your apartment?

If you live alone with no pets, changing the filter every 6-12 months is sufficient. But if you have several roommates, at least one dog/cat, or allergies/asthma, every 45-90 days might be in order.

If the unit is yours, learn how to check the filter. If it's your landlord's responsibility, ask her. Because the money you spend on tissues and Sudafed is much better spent on beer.

4 Walls Employee Spotlight: Meet Erin Finnerty

How long have you been with 4 Walls?
Since March 15, 2014, officially. I previously worked as a freelancer for about a month before coming on board part-time.

What's a typical day like for you?
My weekdays are spent at my regular gig – Staff Assistant to the Dean of a University of Pennsylvania medical school – and can be quite stressful and hectic, but generally rewarding. I also spend time during the week chipping away at content assignments, which is a thankful break from the hectic nature of my job (believe it or not!).

What's the best thing about your job?
The best thing about working with 4 Walls is the generous flexibility, which I've never experienced before, mostly working in offices in support roles. I've also enjoyed getting to know my colleagues remotely and am happy to have been warmly welcomed by a great community of creative thinkers.

What do you do in your spare time?
My husband and I have a 10-month old puppy, Maggie, and most of my time is spent taking her to the dog park, napping with her on the couch, watching movies and reading with her on the weekends. She's the best.

What is an interesting or little-known fact about you?
I'm great at baking pie and once won a pie contest, but my dirty secret is store-bought crusts. I am even better at eating pie. My dad managed a bakery in Detroit (my hometown) for most of my life, so that might be where it comes from.

New Facebook Sweepstakes! Enter to Win an iPad Mini!

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Move In Day: Take Your Time With Paperwork

It's move-in day. You're sweating. The van is running outside. Your cat is nowhere to be found. The fridge contains half a bottle of Yoo-hoo and a block of cheese.

You sit with your PROPERTY MANAGER. She has a lot of papers.

PROPERTY MANAGER: . . . page 6b, local ordinance against wearing green on Friday . . .

YOU: Uh huh.

PROPERTY MANAGER: They're trying to repeal it. Initial there.

(You scribble on the line.)

PROPERTY MANAGER: Now page 6c, fines associated with attempting to recycle yogurt cartons . . .

(A horn honks outside. You look out the window. It seems your cat is in the moving van and is attempting to drive back to your previous address.)

YOU: Could we do this tomorrow?

PROPERTY MANAGER: Oh, sure.

YOU: I'll come to your office at 9 a.m. I, uh, just have a lot on my mind right now. I'll understand everything better then.

(You dash out the door, yelling for Mittens to be reasonable.)

There's a lot to do on move-in day, so call ahead to request your rental documents in advance. Go through them at your leisure, make note of your questions, then sign. When you hand in the lease, tell your property manager that you'd like to stop by the office for a chat.

A quiet, methodical trip through the details benefits you both: there's no stress or misunderstanding later!

Meet Your Neighbors

Meet your neighbors.

There are exceptions to this rule: if Gregorian chants blast at all hours or you can hear an army of ferrets scuttling around it might be best to leave them alone. But you have a lovely, skilled property manager — you signed with her, right? — so we're willing to bet the neighbors are nice people.

It's never too early. Knock on move in day; introduce yourself, perhaps the cat. Remind them that if they need anything you're a few feet away.

It's that simple. It'll work to your advantage when you need someone to, say, pick up a package. And when your neighbor gets a case of good beer one might come your way.

Say hello and do unto others. Common sense, perhaps, but worth repeating.

4 Walls Employee Spotlight: Meet Chris Karnes

How long have you been with 4Walls?
Since February 2014. So just over a month.

What's a typical day like for you?
Busy and extremely exciting. I'm in the web services group, which is all things PPC, SEO, and web design. It can encompass anything from holding client meetings, drafting proposals, managing paid search campaigns or planning the UX strategy of a new website.

What's the best thing about your job?
Being able to impact the bottom line for our clients in measurable and creative ways. It's truly an art and a science and we're lucky to have a great amount of trust from our clients. That allows us to really think in a different way and use the talents and experiences of our team to do some amazing things.

What do you do in your spare time?
Usually playing some form of Cinderella-inspired imagination/dress-up game with my toddler daughters. It's cool though, I get to be the prince. Aside from that, my wife and I are usually trying to find child-friendly travel adventures to embark on a couple of times a year.

What is an interesting or little-known fact about you?
I spend way too much time at Home Depot even though I can barely hang a picture on the wall. It's embarrassing how bad I am at handyman-type things. Even painting walls. I suck at painting walls.

New Facebook Sweepstakes! Enter to Win an iPad Mini!

To enter the Sweepstakes, Like our Facebook Page and then look for the Sweepstakes tab (image shown below) located on our Facebook Page to enter. Sweepstakes ends April 30th, 2014.

For mobile users ONLY, like our Facebook Page, and then click here to enter!

Want to Paint?

White walls keep the wind out, yes. But Louisiana Cajun Crawfish Orange is a statement from your soul.

Perhaps. But please, wait before you paint the walls. Read your lease first. Then read it again — are there any prohibitions against painting or altering the apartment?

Yes? Then hang some prints and live with it. But if you see an opening, ask your landlord. If he's uneasy you might soften him up by promising to paint just one or two walls.

Get agreements in writing — you should both keep signed copies. Then buy brushes, masking tape, and drop cloths.

We can't help you justify the color to your girlfriend.

4 Walls Employee Spotlight: Meet Jennifer Lawson

Position:
Online Editor and Web Content Specialist

How long have you been with 4Walls?
Almost three months.

What’s a typical day like for you?
Lots of writing and editing. I write custom content for clients and edit content written by freelancers. I also try to come up with ways that we can improve our content.

What’s the best thing about your job?
Working for a company that's thriving and growing. I came from the newspaper industry, so this is a welcome change.

What do you do in your spare time?
My boyfriend and I bought a house in South Philly last year, and getting everything just so is a never-ending project. I also volunteer at PAWS and I'm always reading a few books.

What is an interesting or little-known fact about you?
I'm pretty obsessed with cooking shows, even though I really don't cook at all.