Don’t Feed the Energy Monster: Quick Tips to Reduce Your Utility Bills

 

Remember back to when you were a kid. You’d leave the front door open too long and your parents would say, Close the door… I’m not trying to heat all of [insert your town’s name here]! Well now, it’s easy to understand why they said stuff like that. Utilities are expensive!

If you’re responsible for paying the heat or the electric in your rental properties, there are a few small things you can do to help increase your energy savings this fall and winter. And if your renters are responsible for electric and heat, pass along these quick tips. They’ll appreciate the fact you’re trying help them reduce their monthly utility bill.

Here are some ways to lower utility costs during the colder months…

Service the furnace: With the heat turned on, inspect the furnace to make sure ducts are property connected and the joints are sealed. Clean any dirt and dust from the evaporator coils, when grime accumulates, energy efficiency is reduced by about 5% each year.

Insulate hot water pipes: Wrap pipes with foam or fiberglass insulation tape. This will help less heat escape from water in the pipes, keeping H2O 2 degrees warmer. For every 10 degree reduction in your water heater’s settings, energy costs are reduced by 3 5%.

Replace air filters: Buy high-efficiency pleated air filters and replace them at least once every 90 days. Filters that are clogged with dirt, dust, and pet hair will cause the furnace to work harder and operate less efficiently.

Install a programmable thermostat: Setting the thermostat to automatically maintain a lower temperature (as much as 8 degrees less than your normal setting) when you’re away, can save up to $110 or more per year.

Weather-strip windows and doors: Cold drafts from leaky windows and doors can cost you as much as 5% to 30% on your energy bill. An easy fix is to apply weather stripping around areas prone to drafts. Caulking any gaps too large for weather stripping is another way to help seal leaks.

Nix space heaters: Be wary of space heaters. If you pay the heat/energy and your renter is supplementing warmth with multiple space heaters, you may see a huge spike in your electric bill. Even efficient portable heaters may seem cheap to run at 20-cents-per-hour, but a single unit can easily add $48 a month to your bill if run for eight hours a day. And two or three space heaters will double/triple the amount. This expense adds up fast on energy bills!

For those renters who are permitted to use space heaters, make sure you outline your expectations and provide them with a list of Do’s and Don’ts.

If you pay the electricity/heat in your properties, check with your residents to make sure they’re warm enough. Raising temperature a degree or two, as opposed to them resorting to using space heaters, might save you a ton of money per month in the long run.

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