As a property owner, you will likely feel a duty this winter to keep your tenants warm and happy. On the other hand, you probably also feel a responsibility to not waste energy. How do you save energy as a property owner, keep your utility costs low, and keep your tenants happy?
At Central Erin Property Management we have a few solutions that will help you maintain this balance. Follow these tips to keep tenants happy and comfortable, while being environmentally responsible (which will result in lowered energy costs);
1. Provide Efficient, Well-Maintained Appliances
You can’t control how often your tenants use the appliances provided to them or even the furnace. However, you can provide them with appliances that will do the best job of meeting their needs while using as little energy as possible. If you haven’t made an investment in your furnace in a long time, now might be time.
You also have to consider how well your furnace has been maintained. Few tenants know that furnace filters have to be changed every 3 months, or that HVAC ducts should be cleaned from time to time. Taking care of these maintenance tasks can lower your property’s utility bill and show your tenants that you care about the property and their comfort.
2. Keep Open Communication
Is your tenant using a space heater? Would they tell you if they were? Some tenants have had bad experiences with previous property managers and don’t feel that they can share when there’s a problem with the heating. Instead, they may use very inefficient space heaters to try to solve the problem themselves.
Stop this problem before it starts. As the cold weather settles in this winter, reach out to your tenants and ask them how they found the heat last year. Tell them that they can always reach out to you if they notice a problem. With reassurance, tenants will be happy to tell you when there’s a problem instead of cranking up the heat or using a space heater.
For the same reason, we don’t advise you lock a tenant’s thermostat out of their control. If they want to be warmer, they will use less energy-efficient methods (like a space heater) to get warm. Instead, compromise and raise the temperature, it’ll cost you less in the long run and will also make your tenants happier.
3. Inspect the Property
Your tenants may not be aware of what kind of problems might impact the utility bill. But you can find out for yourself. After giving proper notice to your tenant, spend some time in the property on a cold day. This way, you can witness first-hand any issues.
In particular, you should check for these things:
Is there a draft near the windows or doors?
Does the furnace respond to thermostat changes?
Are the vents blocked by furniture? This may be reducing efficiency.
Do your tenants keep doors closed? This can block the flow of warm air.
You can’t demand your tenant to open doors or move their furniture. But, if you empower them with the knowledge that doing these things will help them feel warmer, they will likely elect to make the changes themselves. They’ll be more comfortable, and you’ll use less energy. It’s a win-win!
Looking for Property Management Solutions?
Tired of worrying about your property’s heating bills every winter? Central Erin Property Management is the right firm to handle your rental property. We use the same care and attention to detail that you’d handle your property with. Reach out to us to request a property proposal today.