Being a Property Manager or Landlord comes with a lot of responsibility and expenses. Along with the expenses and responsibilities that come with maintenance, upkeep, updates, repairs, and replacements – there are also energy costs. Typically, as a Property Manager or Landlord, heating oil expenses are your responsibility. Because of this, following simple energy saving tips is important. Heating a building efficiently can not only save you money, as a Landlord, but it can also ensure a more comfortable living environment for your tenants.
Increasing the efficiency of your building doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking, and can be accomplished with minor adjustments. Here are some energy saving tips for keeping heating costs down:
Sealing Leaks & Drafts
Nothing contributes to heat loss more than a drafty room. Finding and sealing air leaks or drafty spots in your apartments goes a long way in fostering efficiency. Make sure to specifically check around doors and windows. If you feel a breeze, this means the heat is going right out the window, and with it, your money. Typically, re-caulking around windows and doors is enough to significantly decrease the heat loss associated with drafts.
Another huge contributor of heat loss is poor insulation. Heat rises, so if the attic of your building has poor insulation, or none, your heat is completely escaping and you’re essentially throwing your money out the window. By adding insulation to your attic (just like re-caulking windows and doors), you are significantly decreasing the amount of heat loss in your building. In addition to caulking around windows, you also want to make sure that your windows are properly insulated, especially if your building is older. If window insulation is a big problem in your building, consider encouraging tenants (or do it for them!), to add DIY insulation kits (essentially shrink-wrapping your window to lock the air in between the plastic and the window pane and prevent drafty breezes).
Add Area Rugs
When designing or updating your apartments, consider adding area rugs, or putting down rugs instead of hard wood. Not only can rugs help to keep feet warm, but it also adds an extra layer of insulation.
Communicate With Tenants
It’s easy for tenants to feel like “you’re being cheap” or like they’re getting the shaft (or should we say draft) end of the stick. By communicating with tenants, letting them know that you are here to make them comfortable, and making heating a team effort, you can encourage efficiency that involves both parties. Giving suggestions for a warm and efficient home is helpful and encouraging. This can be in the form of face-to-face communication, or by sending around a winter bulletin highlighting some tips.
Living in a drafty cold apartment with no access to a thermostat often results in the use of space heaters. However, tenants who use space heaters without proper education, and/or are using the wrong types of space heaters, are creating serious fire hazards. Plugging a space heated into a power strip is a huge fire hazard, as these devices are not designed to handle the amount of energy needed to power a space heater (consider putting this in your winter bulletin!). Educating your tenants on space heater safety goes a long way in avoiding devastating fires. But, an even better option, is providing your tenants with space heaters. There are several reasons why this is a great idea.
The Space Heater Choice is Yours
You are buying the space heater, meaning you can pick the safest and most efficient type. Whereas if you left the purchasing of a space heater up to your tenants, they may not purchase the most efficient space heater (or safest). When it comes to portable heating options, infrared heaters have several benefits, and are the safest type due to the method in which they heat. Infrared heaters heat objects in a room (not just air) by sending infrared light waves to the objects. This allows for the objects to warm, and remain warm, subsequently warming the room. Infrared heating works exactly how the sun does. Imagine standing in the sun vs. in the shade. You are hotter when you are in the sun (even though you’re in the same air) because the UV rays are absorbed through your clothing and skin, causing you to feel warmer, and stay warmer. Additionally, since infrared heaters do not burn anything to produce heat, they are much safer.
Providing a portable heater for your tenants allows for them to feel comfortable, while leaving your thermostat at the temperature you desire and budget for. Not to mention, it really helps the tenant feel like you care!
As a Landlord, following these energy saving tips is a great way to enter the winter season as efficiently as possible. However, even after these winterization items are complete, your building still may run cold, especially if it’s older construction. By providing infrared space heaters (a safe and energy efficient space heater) for all tenants, you are saving money, avoiding major fire hazards associated with standard space heaters, ensuring efficiency and safety, and ultimately making your tenants happy and comfortable.
If your tenants have access to their own thermostat, providing infrared heaters is an even better idea, because this allows for tenants to stay warm while keeping their thermostats lower (resulting in lower heat costs). It’s your responsibility to ensure that your tenants are receiving heat as safely and as efficiently as possible. You can do that by purchasing AirNmore’s Comfort Deluxe Infrared Heaters! Wondering how well the AirNMore Comfort Deluxe Infrared Heater works? Read a complete Q & A and product review we recently received.