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Lower Your Budget Requirements With These Energy Saving Tips

Are you in need of some effective energy-saving tips? To stay comfortable through a Southern Alberta winter, with its harsh winds and frigid temperatures, homeowners have to use their heating systems a lot. And while higher energy bills are a reality for homeowners in our region, you can control heating costs, at least to some degree, by incorporating the energy-saving measures below throughout your home.

§ Set your home temperature lower. According to the government of Alberta, each degree you setback your thermostat will translate into a 2 percent savings on your utility bills. Over the long winter, saving 2 percent (or more) on your energy bills will add up to significant savings.

§ Ensure that your heating system operates efficiently. This action involves two steps. First, you should change your system’s air filters regularly. A clean filter improves airflow, and adequate airflow is the key to efficient operations. Second, scheduling fall maintenance (or scheduling maintenance now if you missed it) keeps your system clean, and experts agree that regular service is the primary factor that will guarantee efficiency.

§ Avoid unnecessary energy consumption by dialing back your water heater’s temperature. Most manufacturers preset water heaters higher than necessary. Forty-nine degrees is an energy-saving setting, and you won’t notice a difference in the temperature when you use hot water to shower. However, some home appliances, like dishwashers, require a higher temperature setting, so consult your user guide or talk with an HVAC expert to explore your options.

§ Seal air leaks throughout the home. A tight home that doesn’t allow outside air in, or inside air out, is a low-cost measure that greatly enhances home efficiency.

§ Upgrade equipment. While high-efficiency heating equipment is a significant investment, it translates into bigger energy savings, and that’s savings you’ll reap over the life of the equipment.

As of April 2018 the government will place restrictions on any private rented accommodation that has an energy efficiency rating of F or G, meaning that landlords will not be allowed to rent out their properties until they are improved. Furthermore, as of 2016 landlords will no longer be allowed to refuse any “reasonable request” from tenants to improve the energy efficiency of their properties. Therefore it is wise for landlords to start improving their properties now, but where is the best place to start?
Insulation

Keeping your properties insulated will not only ensure that they are energy efficient, but also reduce your tenants’ heating bills. Furthermore, insulating your property is generally quite easy and cheap as you can get the materials you need from your local hardware store and place them in your properties in no time. If your property is prone to draughts you could also buy draught protectors for your properties and place them under the doors, and usually these come in packs of five or ten meaning you can fix multiple properties easily and quickly!
Electricity

Saving electricity is becoming increasingly easy, and most landlords now use energy saving light bulbs in all their properties in order to save money. However, one of the best ways to make sure that electricity is being saved in your property is to talk to your tenants and remind them simple things make a big difference, such as turning of lights and making sure televisions and laptops are not left on standby. Some electricity providers even provide meters that show how much electricity is being used and how much it is costing in real time, so placing these in your houses could give your tenants a gentle reminder!
Double Glazing

Depending on how old your property is you may have to bite the bullet and call in tradesmen to get it up to scratch. Most houses these days come with double glazing as standard as not only does it improve energy efficiency but also the safety of your houses, however if you do not have this installed it is wise to shop around and find the best deal. Don’t forget that you will need to cover your properties with landlord insurance before any work starts to protect it against accidental damages.

Improving the energy efficiency of your properties can often be easy, and in the long term will not only reduce your tenants’ heating bills but also increase the worth of your property portfolios.

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