Cutting Heating Costs Winter – Tips for Homeowners
Saving money on energy bills is something that resides primarily in the province of individual homeowners; it isn’t something that board members are directly responsible for. With that said, members of any HOA board are bound to get questions about good conservation procedures, both in the interest of saving money as well as “going green.” In the winter months, especially, keeping the cost of energy down is a big concern. Surprisingly, there are a lot of things your residents can do simply by being more mindful of their hot water heater use.
The hot water heater is one of the biggest sources of energy cost, right behind air conditioning and heating. Something you might advise to all residents is to keep the thermostat set at 120 degrees, which should be somewhere directly between the Low and Medium settings. This is the setting at which residents will keep costs the lowest while still having enough hot water to use!
Another option is the tankless water heater, which may or may not be an option, depending on your facilities. Obviously, this is something the HOA management board will want to assess before making recommendations to clients; the demand water heater sometimes doesn’t function in older residences, in particular. But if they are a viable option, you might give them some thought, as they can dramatically reduce hot water heating costs.
From a maintenance standpoint, ensure that all leaky faucets are fixed and that pipes are insulated properly. These are directives you might relay to your maintenance crew, where applicable; indeed, one of the best ways to maximize efficiency is to simply ensure the system is working as it should.
Knowing these basic maintenance protocols, and thinking about ways your community can implement cost-effective water heating technology, is vital; at the end of the day, however, remember to remind your residents that saving energy costs could really be as simple as taking shorter showers, and of favoring showers over baths.