Energy-Saving Tips for Landlords
Due to the lack of inventory and high prices for purchasing a home, demand for multifamily and apartment housing is extremely high. However, at the end of 2021, housing data from the Census Bureau shows national vacancy rates were between 5% and 6%, which is extremely low compared to past years.
New constructions are popping up in suburban and urban areas at a record pace, and it’s believed that the ongoing demand for rental units will keep up with the new supply. So, to keep units filled and maximize return on investment, landlords are under more pressure to ensure their buildings and property are the best in order to attract new tenants over the competition.
A few ways to do this are by making your property eco-friendlier and implementing energy saving strategies so your apartments more energy efficient.
Install Efficient Lighting
LED technology is ideal for inside your apartment units and around your buildings. This includes streetlights, parking garage or lot lights, walkway and outdoor lighting, task lighting, modular lighting, recessed downlights, and more. Work to replace existing bulbs, lamps, and light fixtures with more efficient products, such as LED lighting.
LED lighting has a much longer lifespan and is more energy efficient. It’s estimated that LED bulbs use at least 75% less energy than other bulbs, last up to 25 times longer, and emit very little heat (compared to incandescent bulbs which release 90% of their energy as heat).
Not only will landlords/apartment managers save money on energy costs around the building, but tenants will save money on energy costs inside the units.
Replace old appliances like washers, dryers, and dishwashers with energy-efficient ones. Depending on the number and type of appliances you purchase, you and/or your tenants can save anywhere between 20-50% on your monthly energy bills, keeping dollars in their wallets and reducing waste. For example, ENERGY STAR-certified washing machines use about 25% less energy and 45% less water than regular washers.
Increased efficiency can also lower greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants.
Updated, energy-efficient appliances can also be attractive to tenants because they know they won’t have to worry about the appliance breaking, malfunctioning, or needing repairs, which can be a hassle.
Reduce Water Usage
Try installing water saving items like:
- Low-flow toilets (which can reduce the flow of water up to 12 liters per flush)
- Low-flow showerheads (which can use up to 70% less water and cut water heating costs).
Repair leaking faucets as soon as possible, and switch the aerators on kitchen and bathroom faucets so less water is wasted. Upgraded appliances can also help reduce water usage.
Update Common Areas
There are a number of things you can do in common areas like vending areas, hallways, laundry rooms, offices, and other places. For example, set timers to control thermostats and lighting in common areas and hallways. Maximize natural light to reduce the need for lighting. Keep air filters clean so that the HVAC system doesn’t have to work as hard. Also avoid and prevent energy vampires (things that suck energy when not being used). If possible, unplug machinery and appliances while they are not in use.
Upgrade Windows and Doors
A significant amount of energy is lost and wasted due to leaky, poorly installed, or out-of-date windows and doors. For example, single pane windows allow for the transfer of heat and air from both the inside and outside, making it difficult to control temperatures.
Many apartment and commercial buildings, especially if constructed more than a couple of decades ago, have inefficient windows and doors. Replacing windows and doors with energy-efficient ones will help reduce utility costs and be more effective and efficient in the long run. This will make your property more attractive to potential tenants who want to avoid high energy bills and to current tenants who will see a drop in costs.
Work with a local commercial window and door installation company to choose the right products and start your renovation project.
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