Rental Property

When it comes time to rent a place to live, always consider the cost of the utilities associated with the property. Utility costs can be a large portion of your monthly budget depending on the energy efficiency of the property or the lack there of.

The following section is designed to give you some ideas on choosing an apartment or rental home and to minimize your energy usage in your choice. These recommendations should assist you in concentrating your efforts on areas of the home where you may be experiencing the most energy loss or may see the most improvement.

Use the following links for cost estimates and heat pump information related to your rental property:

Estimated Electric Cost For Heating and Cooling

Heat Pump Information

Hopefully when you move into a rental property you will have a good landlord that will work with you to help you keep your utility costs down, however there are some steps you can take to help lower those costs on your own.

Steps you Can Take to Help Lower Costs


Tips on Selecting Your Place:
Energy costs are an important aspect to consider when choosing a rental property. How much will you spend on your utilities in the unit that you are viewing? Click on the links below to get valuable information that can aid you in this decision:

Apartments


Here are a few things to consider when choosing your apartment:

Heating and Cooling System
What type of heating and cooling system does the apartment have? The type of system that your apartment has typically determines the type of electric bills that you might expect. Many apartments use heat pumps for heating and cooling purposes.

Age of Units
How old are the apartments that you are considering, and more importantly, how old are the appliances and heating and cooling systems? The average life span of most heating and cooling systems is 15 years. As HVAC systems and appliances age, they lose their efficiency resulting in higher costs.

Orientation of Apartment
An apartment that faces the east or the west will experience higher temperatures increases during the day, throughout the summer months, than units that face north or south. This may result in higher cost for the east-west facing units than others. Units that are centrally located, with units to each side, top and bottom, will also typically have lower bills than end, or top floor units.

Windows and Doors
How tight do the windows and doors seal on the apartment that you are viewing? Double pane windows that seal tightly are a plus. Also check sliding glass doors for tight fits. Leaky windows and doors can result in higher energy costs. Rope caulk, which is removable caulking , can be purchased from a local hardware store and be used to compensate for air leaks around windows.

Water Heating
Consider the type of water heater that your apartment uses. Electric water heaters use approximately $30 of the kilowatts per month and are typically a large portion of your bill. You can have the apartment complex adjust the temperature on your water heater to partially lower this cost. A setting of 125 degrees Fahrenheit is recommended for a water heater.


Manufactured Homes


Manufactured homes typically cost more in utilities than traditional homes; this is generally due to limited amounts of insulation that could be used when the homes were constructed. Many manufactured homes also use electric strip heating as the main heat source during the winter, which adds considerable amounts to an electric bill.

Here are a few things to consider when choosing a manufactured home:

Heating and Cooling System
What type of heating and cooling system does the home have? The type of system that your manufactured home has, typically determines the type of electric bills that you might expect. Many manufactured homes use heat pumps for heating and cooling purposes. Others use air conditioners with gas or electric furnaces. Electric furnaces are the most expensive form of heating available.

Age of Units
How old is the manufactured home that you are considering, and more importantly, how old are the appliances and heating and cooling systems. Average life span of most heating and cooling systems is 15 years. As HVAC systems and appliances age, they lose their efficiency resulting in higher costs. Also, insulation and caulking also loose efficiency over time, so take the time to look at these items as well. Make sure that the home actually has insulation in the floor over the crawlspace and that caulking around windows and doors is in place.

Orientation of the Home
A manufactured home that faces the east or the west will experience higher temperature increases during the day, throughout the summer months, than units that face north or south. This may result in higher cost for east-west facing units that for others. Also, homes that are shaded during the hottest parts of the day by trees will have lower cooling costs during the summer.

Windows and Doors
How tight do the windows and doors seal on the home that you are viewing? Double pane windows that seal tightly are a plus. Also check sliding glass doors for tight fits. Leaky windows and doors can result in higher energy costs. Rope caulk, which is removable caulking, can be purchased from a local hardware store and be used to compensate for air leaks around windows.

Water Heating
Consider the type of water heater that your home uses. Electric water heaters use approximately $30 of kilowatts per month and are typically a large portion of your bill. You could have the homeowner adjust the temperature on your water heater to partially lower this cost. A temperature setting of 125 degrees Fahrenheit is recommended for a water heater.

Other Equipment
Some rental properties may have other equipment to consider in your costs. A home that uses a well pump has an additional cost that adds to your power bill. Pools or hot tubs that may be part of a rental property can also add more expense to your monthly bill. Remember to consider all of the electrical equipment in a home when planning your budget.


Houses


Here are a few things to consider when choosing a rental home:

Heating and Cooling System
What type of heating and cooling system does the home have? The type of system that the home has, typically determines the type of electric bills that you might expect. You can expect a higher winter time electric bill in a home with a heat pump, than in a home with a gas furnace.

Age of Units
How old is the home that you are considering, and more importantly, how old are the appliances and heating and cooling systems. The average life span of most heating and cooling systems is 15 years. As HVAC systems and appliances age, they lose their efficiency resulting in higher costs. Insulation and caulking also loose efficiency over time, so take the time to look at these items as well. Take a quick look in the attic. If the tops of the ceiling joists or bare ceiling areas are visible, then the insulation is not up to standards, and could result in higher heating and cooling costs for the home. If the home is on a crawlspace take a quick look to make sure that the home has insulation in the floor over the crawlspace. Also check to see that caulking around the windows and doors is in good shape.

Orientation of the Home
A home that faces the east or the west will experience higher temperature increases during the day, throughout the summer months, than units that face north or south. This may result in higher cost for east-west facing units that for others. Also, homes that are shaded during the hottest parts of the day by trees will have lower cooling costs during the summer.

Windows and Doors
How tight do the windows and doors seal on the home that you are viewing? Double pane windows that seal tightly are a plus. Also check sliding glass doors for tight fits. Leaky windows and doors can result in higher energy costs. Rope caulk, which is removable caulking, can be purchased from a local hardware store and be used to compensate for air leaks around windows.

Water Heating
Consider the type of water heater that your home uses. Electric water heaters use approximately $30 of kilowatts per month and are typically a large portion of your bill. You could have the homeowner adjust the temperature on your water heater to partially lower this cost. A temperature setting of 125 degrees Fahrenheit is recommended for a water heater.

Other Equipment
Some rental properties may have other equipment to consider in your costs. A home that uses a well pump has an additional cost that adds to your power bill. Pools or hot tubs that may be part of a rental property can also add more expense to your monthly bill. Remember to consider all of the electrical equipment in a home when planning your budget.