In between seasons is a perfect time to get ready for the extreme temperatures of summer. With some preparation and few energy efficient tips you can be ready for a cool drink under a shady umbrella in no time.
Avoid Dorothy’s mistake
Let’s get the worst possible summer situations out of the way first. As the weather warms up your residents need to know what to do in case of a weather emergency. Depending on your geographical region, hurricanes and tornados are summer events. Often there is little advanced warning, so clarity is vital. The best way to avoid panic is to know exactly where to go and what to do. The Emerald City can wait.
- Inform your residents how to prepare ahead of time.
- Tell them where to go during the event.
- Let them know what cautionary measures to take after the event.
Summer A/C test run
Have a professional run a basic maintenance on your A/C unit(s) now so that they will be ready when you are starting to sweat. We all know summer cooling costs are expensive.
Appliances and equipment in multifamily buildings can save you money each year or add to the utility bills. Energy Star labels are an easy way to identify which units that are energy efficient. The yellow EnergyGuide labels also detail yearly operating cost and electricity use for appliances. Make sure your appliances are set up properly to save you money in the long run.
Here are some year-round energy saving tips:
- Equip apartments with programmable thermostats.
- Set the water heating system to 15-120°F.
- Do not position dishwashers next to refrigerators.
- Properly maintain systems with annual inspections.
- Make repairs quickly.
- Replace outdated components.
Check your windows
Insulation will save you money in the winter and the summer. Caulking and weather-stripping are effective methods of sealing for air leaks. Check caulking around the door and window frames.
You can apply Low-Emissivity Film (Low-E film) a product that can be applied to windows to block 97% of UV rays. This effectively keeps heat out during summer. In the winter months the film actually helps to retain heat in homes.
The materials used for the framing and windows themselves will impact the energy efficiency of your building. When it comes time to replace windows, purchase windows that have low-e, double glazing and/or insulated frames.
Increase air flow
If you don’t have ceiling fans you might want to consider installing them. Check that your ceiling fans are turning counter-clockwise. The blades are tilted upward as they spin to push air downward and create stronger air flow. In winter you will want the ceiling fan to rotate clockwise so the warm air that collects at the top of the room gets circulated. A win-win.
How can your residents help stay cool?
There are recommendations you can make to your residents, especially in urban areas that are prone to black-outs during the summer months. Skip the washing machine’s heat dry cycle and air-dry dishes instead. Also, line-drying your clothes can save a lot of energy, and is so easy to do during the summer months.
Try to limit usage of all heat-producing appliances like the dryer, dish dryer, stove, or oven. Encourage residents to use big appliances at night when it won’t be necessary to increase the A/C in a temperature competition.
Everything runs more smoothly when you plan ahead. Prepare your residents for possible weather related emergencies. Look for ways to save money in the long-term on energy efficient appliances. Insulate to conserve cool A/C air this summer and heat this the winter.
Now get your patio umbrella out of storage and you are ready for that cool drink! Can you work while relaxing in your lounge chair? Yes! Another way to make your life so much easier: Paperless: Why it’s Necessary and How You Can Achieve It.
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