Quick Tips on Saving Energy and Cash This Winter

By E-Renter Tenant Screening
Posted on November 4, 2011 under Landlord Tips | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

tenant screeningIf you’re a landlord, it’s a good idea to try to save energy and heating fuel in your rental properties—especially since heating bills are predicted to hit record highs this winter. And even if your tenants pay their own heat bills, isn’t it in your best interest, as well as theirs, to save them money if you can? When things are tight, as in this continued tough economy, helping tenants save money can keep you rent payments coming in steadily.

What are the best ways to save more on heating by saving energy?

  • Tax credits: Federal tax credits of up to $500 for energy-efficient appliances, furnaces and insulation installation. The money comes right off your taxes, and helps pay for the initial investment. If gas water heaters are more than 12 years old, consider replacing them.
  • Rebates: States and utility companies offer rebates on furnaces, energy-efficient appliances, and other fuel-saving investments. Furnaces over 15 years old can often be replaced with more efficient ENERGY STAR rated models.
  • Adding insulation: Many older homes are insufficiently insulated. Check into adding new insulation on your rental properties. Consider increasing ceiling insulation too. It’s easy to wrap the hot water tank with jacket insulation—very effective, especially if it’s an older model.
  • Lower the thermostat: 68 degrees during the day and 55 at night is comfortable for most people. Every degree lower in the 60 – 70 degree range saves up to 5% of heating cost.
  • Replacing or cleaning furnace filters: Dirty filters increase energy use. Keep them clean by changing often. If you do the replacing yourself, you also have the chance to check on your property and tenants.
  • Get out the caulk: seal leaks around windows, doors, and where pipes and electrical conduit enter your building. Check under bathroom and kitchen sinks, the basement and utility closets.
  • Install storm windows: for single-pane windows, storms are super-efficient. Or replace old windows with double-panes.
  • Encourage tenants to use cold water when washing clothes: it reduces energy use by 75%. And remind them to clean the lint trap on the dryer after every load.

Saving energy takes information, an investment and a commitment. But the rewards can be enormous—especially if everyone does their part. Landlords could qualify for rebates that pay for upgrades, so why not look into them?

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