For many single-family rental home investors, paying all or part of the utilities for their rental homes, is part of a successful management strategy, and because the utilities are coming out of your own pocket, you want to keep your costs low. One of the best ways to reduce costs and increase your profits is to improve the efficiency of your property’s utilities. There are many simple ways to do so, all of which could add up to significant savings month after month.
Water and Sewer
Most of the time, your rental property’s water and sewer bill will be relatively consistent from month to month. Some of the costs will be fixed charges that you can do very little about. But there are ways that you can significantly reduce the overall amount of water used and save money in the process.
For example, if your toilets and faucets are getting a little older, consider replacing them with fixtures designed to help reduce water flow while preserving quality function. By choosing the right low-flow toilets, showerheads, and faucets, you can keep your tenants happy while reducing the amount of water they use during everyday activities.
Another easy way to reduce water usage is to invest in landscaping plants and features that do not have high water needs. Reducing the size of a lawn or removing the curb strip grass or adding a gravel path could help keep water costs down while adding visual appeal to your rental home’s exterior spaces.
If you pay your property’s electricity bill, you know how much it can fluctuate from season to season. But there are a few ways to reduce your tenant’s energy use without interrupting their enjoyment of the property.
For example, simply installing LED lightbulbs throughout the property can help you save energy and money. These energy-efficient bulbs can last for months, sometimes years, and use a lot less electricity than traditional light bulbs do.
Another easy way to reduce electricity costs is to perform an energy audit on your rental property at least once a year. Updating old or worn-out outlets, caulking, weather-stripping, and insulation can help eliminate drafts around doors and windows and help air conditioning units work more efficiently. The same is true when adding a programmable thermostat. By encouraging tenants to reduce their energy usage when they are not at home, you could see a significant reduction in your electricity bill.
Appliances that run on natural gas could potentially put a big dent in your monthly budget. But it doesn’t need to be that way. Furnaces, appliances, and water heaters that run on natural gas should be maintained regularly and replaced when they wear out. Running an old furnace or outdated water heater can add a lot to any natural gas bill. Upgrading to energy-efficient models can help you save quite a bit over months and years.
Another way to save on natural gas costs is to keep an eye on your water heater settings. A water heater can account for as much as 25% of your utility bill. Simply keeping the temperature set at 120 degrees Fahrenheit can help minimize costs and still provide plenty of hot water for your tenants. Also, set a maintenance schedule to flush and clean the sediment in the tank annually, this will add life to your water heater and ensure it is operating at top efficiency.
If you are paying all or part of the utility bills for your rental property, following a few simple steps can add up to big savings over time. It is possible to keep costs low and keep your tenants comfortable at the same time. For more information on making your rental property more energy-efficient, contact your local Real Property Management office today.
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