Monitoring and managing utility usage.
If you own a property, you know that managing utility usage can feel like nothing short of a headache at times. Owning an income-based property might make this headache feel like a full-on migraine. With a little bit of planning, knowledge and know-how you don’t have to let utility expenditures balloon out of control.
Troubleshooting a water leak
- A water or plumbing leak is something no one wants to experience; however, they happen. Train yourself, maintenance staff and tenants alike to identify and report things like a dripping faucet or running toilet. Additionally, be on the lookout for paint that is peeling or a musty/wet smell in an area that should be dry. Finally, a spike in the water bill is a pretty good sign there’s a potential leak.
- If you suspect a leak, it’s time to call a professional, but you can potentially confirm a hidden leak by turning off every water fixture, faucet and appliance that uses water (for say six hours or so) and noting whether or not the property’s water meter readings rise during the time these are turned off.
- Living in Minnesota means your heating system is probably working overtime for at least six months of the year, then of course your cooling system has got to kick it into gear. A smart thermostat can be a worthy investment. They are designed to make temperature adjustments based on a resident’s detectable patterns, that way you’re not paying to heat an unoccupied property. Further, you can always fine-tune manually and monitor as necessary so you or your tenants are not surprised with a huge bill.
Efficiencies with energy consumption
- Whether you’re renting your property or not, the efficiency of your utility usage should be high on your priority lists to improve costs. Fortunately, there are both quick and easy ways to reduce costs as well as those that require a little more initial investment.
Installing LED fixtures
- Want an easy win, win? Consider changing old, incandescent lightbulbs to LED. Not only can they cut the electric bill by almost 25 percent, they last almost 10 years requiring much less maintenance.
Upgrading to Energy Star appliances
- If your appliances are old, it might be time for an upgrade. Initial costs of replacing these appliances (think refrigerators, stoves and dishwashers) might seem high, but you’ll save on energy costs and new appliances could help drive more potential renters to your door.
Consider air leaks
- You can probably guess that air leaks are some of the biggest offenders when it comes to energy inefficiencies, but how do you find them? While a visual and physical inspection can easily tell you where your building is leaking air, you can hire a professional to do a thermographic test that uses an infrared camera to locate those more invisible areas of air leaks.
Tradewind Properties is here to help you take the headache out of your rental property utility management, Contact Tradewind Properties. We are here to help!