Energy Saving Tips for Tenants and Landlords
Most people want the convenience of heating in the winter, air conditioning in the summer, hot water, a functioning washer and dryer, and a nice big refrigerator. The problem? Most people don’t want to pay for the gas and electricity bills!
However, in this article, we will explain the methods you can adopt to save energy, whether you’re a tenant or a rental property owner.
How Landlords Can Reduce Energy Costs
If you’re a property owner, here are some of the ways you can save energy and reduce your energy costs.
1. Energy-Efficient Lighting
LED lights use 40% less energy than fluorescent lights and 85% less energy than incandescent bulbs. Swapping out old incandescent bulbs and fluorescent lights for LEDs is the first step to saving energy.
LEDs are brighter, generate less heat and last 25 times longer than traditional bulbs. By using them, you can save an incredible 25% on lighting costs.
2. Use Motion Sensitive Lighting
Every part of a house needs some lighting, but not all parts constantly need to be lit. It makes sense for lights to be on in front entrances, stairwells, common areas and hallways. That said, driveways, back entrances or other outdoor locations don't need light 24/7.
In areas where lights are needed occasionally, you should install motion sensitive lights.
3. Buy Energy Efficient Appliances
Appliances should be checked for their “energy star” rating before they are bought. This should be done for refrigerators, heaters, stoves, and dishwashers. Energy efficient appliances perform better and often use 50% less energy than others.
4. Caulk, Clean and Insulate
Cracks and other openings allow heated or cooled air to escape a room, and they force the appliances inside the room to work harder. Sealing all openings by caulking them will prevent this from occurring and save energy.
Also, a dirty HVAC filter reduces the efficiency of the system. It puts a strain on the equipment and increases energy usage. Cleaning out the AC and furnace air filters on a regular basis will save energy and money.
Finally, open areas of a unit, such as attics and crawl spaces, should be insulated to stop leaks. Heating ducts also need proper sealing and insulation.
Additional Tips for Landlords
Here are some other ways you can improve energy use in a property:
Install low-noise, high-efficiency exhaust fans in the property.
Buy programmable thermostats for the entire building.
Use heat-resistant radiator reflectors between radiators and walls.
Use "blackout curtains" to keep the sun's heat out.
How Tenants Can Reduce Energy Costs
If you’re a tenant, this is the sector for you! In this section, we will focus on what you can do versus what you should buy. If the appliances in the property are yours, you should only use energy efficient ones. However, even if appliances are supplied by the landlord, there are still things you can do to cut the energy bill.
1. Turn Down the Thermostat
If your unit is supplied with a programmable thermostat, set the room temperatures to vary according to the period of the day. If there isn’t a smart thermostat, manually turn down the thermostat whenever possible.
2. Watch Out for Phantom Power
Unplug chargers, toasters and other devices when they are not in use. Appliances that are plugged in, even if they are not in use, will use energy. If you have trouble remembering to unplug devices, invest in a smart power strip. These automatically turn the power off when devices are idle.
3. Don’t Obstruct Air Registers and Radiators
Putting furniture in front of vents and radiators will make the HVAC system work harder. The air inside your rental needs to move freely if the furnace and AC are going to be able to work at their best.
4. Pay Attention to Windows and Blinds
Windows are a potential problem. They let in sunlight which interferes with cooling in the summer, and heating in winter.
A simple way to keep the heat inside is your unit is by weather-stripping windows. Weather-stripping materials are inexpensive and easy to install.
To keep the sunlight out during the warmer months, blinds should be kept down. Installing blackout shades will achieve even better results.
Additional Tips for Tenants
Here are other ways you can save energy:
Wash your clothes with cold water.
When using the washing machine, be sure to wash full loads.
Air dry clothes whenever possible.
Improve insulation by putting rugs on wooden floors, especially during winter.
Keeping energy costs low is a continuous process. If you constantly seek ways to improve the performance of appliances and the way you use them, you will begin to see improvement in your energy costs.
Whether you’re a tenant or a landlord, we hope this article was helpful.
For further inquiries, contact us today.