Winter is upon us and so is the time for heat complaints and
high energy bills. Not exactly the Landlord’s favorite time of year.
This article is to provide you with some energy saving tips that are inexpensive yet cost effective.
One of the biggest causes of wasted energy is air leaks. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, drafts can waste 5%-30% of energy use.
If you have received complaints of being cold from your tenants, the first thing you should do is visit your property to identify if there are any air leaks that can be remedied by a trip to your local hardware store.
Most air leaks occur around windows, doors, electrical outlets, electrical and gas service entrances and baseboards. You can use caulk to seal gaps and cracks that allow air penetration through these types of surfaces. Caulking should be used on stationary building components and materials.
For components that move, like doors and operable windows, weatherstripping should be used. Weatherstripping helps stop air penetration from around these components.
Door sweeps are an inexpensive way to stop drafts from under doors.
You can seal off air leaks through windows with plastic window installation kits. These window kits seal off drafts and increase energy efficiency. Some brands claim to increase R-Value (resistance to heat loss) of single pane windows by up to 90%.
Also, tell your tenants to remove all portable window air conditioning units-not just cover them up.
Check your heating system and replace furnace filters if needed. This helps your system to operate more efficiently.
These are just a few inexpensive but cost effective measures you can take to cut down on energy consumption while providing a comfortable environment for your tenants. For more tips and resources for landlords on saving money on home heating oil
For more detailed information on energy efficient measures, including what products to use and when and where to use them, visit the Department of Energy website at: www.energy.gov