Rental Rookie

Rental Rookie: Ice, ice baby

By Michelle Castillo  | February 16, 2011 - 7:18AM

If the weather outside is frightful, you can bet that there will be ice. In my apartment, ice kept creeping in around my air conditioner and seeping in through gaps between the window frame and window. After having to constantly have rags on hand to clean up the slushy mess plus seeing fuzzy green growing on my windowsill, I decided my second winter I would take precautions. Here are a few tips to break the ice:

  • Replace your windows Chances are if ice is coming in, your windows are not lying in the frame correctly. My super noticed this and said I should complain to my landlord so they would replace my windows. I’m not having much luck on that end, but maybe you’ll have more luck with yours.
  • Invest in waterproof tape If you’re lazy like me, you probably left your air conditioner in your window during the wintertime. It’s impossible to completely seal off the cracks in space where your air conditioner sits, and ice often creeps in through the small spaces. Although it won’t affect the temperature inside your house, it can melt and make a mess. Seal up the cracks with some waterproof tape likeRescue Tape. I tried duct tape, which worked for all of five minutes before the water and ice caused it to fall off. Duct tape is water-resistant, not water proof.
  • Insulate The ice might act as an insulating material, making your windows thicker. However, most of us don’t like the idea of turning our homes into refrigerators. Invest inwindow insulating kits to save money and give you another layer of protection from the snow. You can also try the pricier thermal back curtains. They have rubberized backs to prevent drafts and keep the heat in.
  • Scrape the bottom—and the top Ice scrapers aren’t just for windshields. Use it to chip the ice off your air conditioning unit (if you don’t remove it during the winter) to prevent breakage. You can also use it on your windowsills if you accidentally left the window open when it snowed.

Next on Rental Rookie: Leaving the city for a minivacation? Here’s a couple things to remember to keep your apartment safe

Michelle Castillo moved to Manhattan last fall to attend Columbia University's Journalism School. She has covered arts and entertainment for The Los Angeles Times,, Hollywood Reporter, and, and she currently writes about geek culture for's TechlandRental Rookie is a twice-monthly column chronicling her first year as a renter in NYC.


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