It’s no secret that with colder weather, higher electric bills come too. It doesn’t matter where you live, using the furnace can be expensive. As a landlord or property manager, it’s your duty to take care of things like frozen pipes, drafts, and broken heaters so that your renters are warm. However, fixing these things can be costly. To offset this cost during the colder months, we’ve compiled a list of helpful tips you (and your renters!) can do to prevent it!
Things to watch out for:
Frozen pipes: When your pipes freeze over, it could crack them. Keeping them warm enough not to freeze can save you from a huge headache down the road. You can do this by insulating exposed pipes, and keeping pipes inside your home warm with a space heater (if you think that it is starting or might freeze). You can also prevent this by turning on the faucet the pipe runs to, to keep water slowly moving through it so that it can’t freeze. Barely turn it on to do this – otherwise your water bill will go up too, and that’s not the point of these tips.
Ice: Knowing that bad weather is coming should tell you that you need to start spreading out the salt. Especially on slick spots, throw down some salt so that ice doesn’t form and you can’t slip and fall.
Snow: Since you are already being proactive about the ice, do it for the snow as well! Invest in a snow shovel, and get ready to clear off your driveway and sidewalk. (Or, you could finally pay that kid down the street you know shovels driveways every winter!) Keep everything cleared to make sure you won’t hurt yourself getting out to your car in the mornings for work.
Things you can do:
Turn the heat down. I know, it sounds crazy, but by keeping the thermostat at a lower temperature will stop the heater from running constantly (which costs you money). Make sure you bundle up! If you can’t manage to do this while you’re at home, at least turn it down while you are at work or out of town. Or, if you can’t do this during the day, turn it down while you are sleeping.
Switch your fan. Most fans have a switch on them that changes the circulation from clockwise to counterclockwise. During the winter, you want the fan to be going clockwise to recirculate the heat that has risen back down into the room.
Get your furnace checked. A typical lifespan for furnaces are between 15 and 20 years. If yours is older than that, it probably is not running very efficiently and is costing you more money. Invest in that “energy saving” furnace at the store, and you will reap the benefits after only a few short years of using it.
Not only are these tips helpful to landlords – they’re also helpful for renters themselves. Consider emailing or handing out papers detailing the tips above for your tenants as a useful gesture to keep their heating bills down. Whether you, the landlord, pays the electric bill, or the tenants do, using these hints can keep everyone from paying the normally high bill to stay warm during the winter months. Here at CAB, we take care of winterization issues before they occur for all of our clients. To let us take care of your property, give us a call today!