By Brentnie Daggett, Rentec Direct
As temperatures rise during the summer months, especially in the south, where the temperatures rise to just shy of the sun’s surface, keeping your rental property cool becomes essential. A cool environment is more comfortable, promotes better sleep and can help reduce energy bills. There are many preventive measures that landlords and property managers can implement in the more temperate months to prepare for the summertime heat. Your investments in these measures will help keep energy costs low and your tenants comfortable in the sweltering months when most people’s bills go through the roof.
Here are some tips for keeping your rental property cool in the summer:
Install Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans will significantly improve the comfort level in a room by creating a breeze that makes it feel cooler. Ceiling fans also use less energy than air conditioning systems, making them a cost-effective option. Consider installing ceiling fans in rooms where your renters spend the most time, such as living rooms and bedrooms. The circulating air will help with dampness from humidity and keep their living space comfortable during even the most oppressive heat.
Use Window Treatments
Windows are a significant source of heat gain in the summer, but window treatments can help reduce this. Shades, curtains, and blinds can block sunlight and reduce the heat entering the room. Choose light-colored window treatments reflecting sunlight and heat, and ensure they are closed during the hottest part of the day. It may seem like choosing a darker window treatment would be the obvious choice as it keeps the sunlight out, but those darker treatments absorb heat and can significantly warm up a room. Light and sun-blocking drapes are a good choice, and come in a variety of designs and colors for any decor.
Seal Air Leaks
Air leaks around windows, doors, and other openings can allow warm air to enter the property, making it harder to keep cool. Sealing leaks with caulk or weatherstripping can substantially affect the temperature. This can also help reduce energy bills by preventing cool air from escaping.
An easy way to check for air leaks is to light a stick of incense near a window you suspect isn’t adequately sealed. If you notice the smoke from the incense being sucked out or blown in, it’s safe to say you have an air leak.
Use Programmable Thermostats
Programmable thermostats can help regulate the temperature in your rental property, ensuring that it stays cool when renters are home and reducing energy usage when they’re away. This allows renters to set the thermostat to a comfortable temperature during the day, but increase it by a few degrees at night or when they’re out of the house.
Many programmable thermostats can be managed through an app on your smartphone, making it easier than ever to keep your cooling bills low during the summer.
Maintain the HVAC System
A poorly maintained HVAC system will not function efficiently, making it more challenging to keep the property cool. Regular HVAC system maintenance and cleaning can improve efficiency and prolong the lifespan, reducing energy bills by ensuring the system works at its best. Set up a regular maintenance schedule, and ensure that you take care of it before the heat of summer. You’ll see significant savings on your energy bill because your system is operating at peak performance.
High humidity can make a room feel much warmer than it actually is, especially down south where the old chestnut, “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity,” becomes more of a desperate battle cry in August. Dehumidifiers can help remove moisture from the air, making the property feel cooler and more comfortable. Consider adding a dehumidifier for tenants to use in particularly humid rooms, such as bathrooms or laundry rooms.
Use Portable Air Conditioners
If your rental property does not have central air conditioning, portable air conditioners can be a cost-effective way to keep the property cool. These units can be moved from room to room as needed and can be more energy-efficient than running a central air conditioning system all day. A portable air conditioning unit can quickly cool down one room instead of relying on central air to cool the entire rental when using only one part of the property.
Insulation can help keep a property cool in the summer by preventing heat from entering the property. If your rental property does not have adequate insulation, consider adding insulation to the attic, walls, and floors. The previously mentioned incense method can help you identify areas where insulation is most needed.
Keeping a rental property cool in the summer can be daunting, but these tips can make it easier. By installing ceiling fans, utilizing light-colored window treatments, identifying air leaks, using programmable thermostats, maintaining the HVAC system, using dehumidifiers, portable air conditioners, and installing insulation, you’re sure to see savings on your energy bills this summer, along with keeping tenants cool and comfortable.
Brentnie Daggett is a writer and infographic master for the rental and property management industry. She loves to share tips and tricks to assist landlords and renters alike. To learn more about Daggett, and to discover more great tips for renters, visit www.rentecdirect.com.