Regular energy audits are an important part of rental home maintenance today. Advancements in residential construction technologies have created a strong demand for energy-efficient homes.
More rental property owners are upgrading their homes to enhance energy efficiency. And more renters are looking for properties with such features.
So, what exactly is an energy audit?
An energy audit is a detailed assessment of the energy needs versus efficiency of a home or property. At a basic level, they are relatively simple and it is possible to do an energy audit yourself. Or you can always hire Real Property Management Premier do it for you.
There are some advantages of having professionals do the job. Firstly, we create a detailed list of items that, if fixed or upgraded, will significantly increase the energy efficiency of a home. Secondly we can also engage contractors to handle the project. With industry experts on call, our services can make your rental homes appealing to quality tenants – for many years to come.
A detailed energy audit should include checking the entire property for air leaks. The more air that is leaking in or out, the harder your heating and cooling systems need to work to maintain a consistent interior temperature. Air can leak in many places, including around window frames, doors, and attic hatches. Air can also draft through fireplaces and around pipes and wires. Other common sources of air leaks are around electrical outlets, switch plates, and baseboards.
Why regular energy audits are important.
As technologies advance and renter demand changes, so too must the degree of energy efficiency of a rental home. As a rental property owner, there is a lot that you can do to improve the energy efficiency of your homes and attract quality tenants. But the first step toward an energy-efficient rental home is to conduct a comprehensive energy audit.
Energy audits extend to outside the property.
Many items in and around a rental property can be contributing to higher energy bills. Among these, old windows, aging appliances, and an outdated heating and cooling system can all use up far more energy than they should. For older rental homes, drafty or single-pane windows can make it difficult for tenants to maintain a comfortable temperature. Windows have come a long way in the last twenty years, making a window upgrade for older homes one important way to improve overall energy efficiency.
HVAC units and energy efficiency.
Other culprits of high energy use are aging appliances and HVAC units. As appliances and HVAC units age, they can become a significant drain on a property’s efficiency. And new advances in appliances and HVAC systems mean that they are designed with energy efficiency in mind.
What’s next after the energy audit?
Once you have a complete energy audit of your rental property in hand, it’s important to lay out a budget and timeline for renovation. Among the most important considerations are addressing the greatest losses of energy efficiency. Prioritize items with the highest return for the cost. Consider how long you can wait before an upgrade becomes neccessary. Rememeber, emergency repair or replacement is invariably the most expensive option.
Keep in mind that you may be able to qualify for certain tax or other incentives by upgrading your rental property. And factor in these benefits into the overall cost of the improvements.
While it is possible to do an energy audit yourself, there is a risk that you might miss something important in the process. A professional will have the experience to check every last potential energy problem, which is why Real Property Management Premier offers this service to our property owners.
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