Landlords invest in rental properties to make money. Their profit is determined by the rental income received minus your expenses. Reducing the expenses you have associated with the rented property is one way to increase your bottom line. Here are some great tips from thebalancesmb for reducing the utility bills at your rented property.
Reduce expenses, increase profit
Any bill associated with your rented property that you are able to reduce will help to increase your potential profit. Electricity, gas and water bills are three separate areas that you can work on reducing.
The monthly rent is not the only expense tenants have to consider when finding a place to live. They are often responsible for paying the utilities as well. Lower utility bills can help make your apartment more affordable and make prospective tenants choose your property over other comparable units.
Taking steps to reduce your utility bills often coincides with making improvements to your rented property. These improvements could be small changes like swapping out older light fixtures for newer LED versions or it could involve larger changes, such as swapping out older appliances for newer energy efficient ones.
When you replace older items at your property with newer versions, you will often reduce the number of maintenance calls you have to make to the property. For instance, LED lights can last for 10 to 20 years. Newer windows can help cut out drafts and reduce heat complaints.
Tips for reducing gas, electricity bills
There are several steps you can take to help reduce the gas and electric bills at your rental property. These include:
Cleaning HVAC filters: When the filters on your HVAC units are dirty, the unit has to work harder and not as efficiently. To ensure optimal performance, you should change these filters every month.
Turning down temperature on water heater: Lowering the temperature on your water heater can help save you money. Consider lowering the temperature from 140 degrees to 130 degrees or even 120. The more you lower the temperature, the bigger your savings. Going from 140 degrees to 120 can save you anywhere from five to 20 per cent a year on your water heating costs; depending on the water usage and the specific utility company.
Buying a programmable thermostat: At the very least, you should have a programmable thermostat for the common areas of your rental property. You can set the temperature to vary throughout the day and night to account for exterior temperature fluctuations and hours when you are usually away from the property.
Installing LED light fixtures: LED lights to use far less energy than older fixtures. You should consider replacing all old incandescent, fluorescent or other lighting at your rental property. Not only can LED lights cut your electric bill by as much as 25 per cent, LED lights last on average between 10 and 15 years; so, they require virtually no maintenance.
Insulate: Properly insulating your property can also help to reduce energy costs. While you may not want to go and rip open every wall in the property, you can add insulation to areas that are already open, like attics or crawl spaces. Proper insulation can help keep the property cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, therefore, reducing energy bills.
Swapping out old appliances for energy star appliances: According to EnergyStar.gov, replacing a 20-year-old refrigerator with a new Energy Star model can save you approximately $150 over five years. You will achieve similar savings when replacing additional appliances, such as stoves and dishwashers. While they will cost you more money upfront, they will save you money in the long term
Installing new windows: Replacing older windows with new double pane windows can help reduce drafts in your property, therefore, helping you save on heating and cooling costs. They also have the additional benefit of helping to reduce noise.
Replacing boiler: Replacing an older boiler with a newer energy efficient model can help reduce costs. Look for models that have an energy efficient rating of 90 per cent or better. You should also properly insulate the boiler room to help maximise efficiency.
Tips for reducing water bills
There are several ways you can help reduce water usage at your rental property. These include:
Fixing leaks: Fixing leaks in shower heads, faucets and toilets can help reduce water usage. Drips and leaks can increase your water bill by as much as 10 per cent, so they are worth addressing.
Low flow shower heads: Low flow shower heads will significantly reduce water consumption. Most low flow shower heads have a water rate of 2.5 gallons per minute. The more shower heads you replace in your rentals, the more significant the savings.
Faucet aerator: You can install low flow aerators on existing bath or kitchen faucets, which will help to reduce water flow. You can also purchase new low flow faucets. WaterSense faucets have a water flow rate of 1.5 gallons per minute, which is a 30 per cent reduction from the typical water flow rate of a faucet.
Low flow toilets/dual flush toilets: In the mid-’90s, the law mandated toilets to have a maximum flush power of 1.6 gallons per flush. You should replace any older toilets in your rental property with low flow toilets because these older toilets could be using as much as three to seven gallons of water per flush. You could also consider installing dual flush toilets. These toilets have an even lower flow option for liquid waste, usually between 0.8 and 1.2 gallons per flush, and approximately 1.6 gallons per flush for solid waste.
High-efficiency washer: If you have a washing machine at your rental, consider upgrading to a high-efficiency model. These washers use less water and less energy than traditional washers.
Source: By Feyisayo Popoola
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