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Three Steps to Reducing Hot Water Usage in Winter

Winter Hot Water Usage

Digested from “3 Strategies for Reducing Tenants’ Hot Water Usage in the Winter” in Multifamily Insiders (12/7/16) by Schwartz, David

As the cold weather of winter descends, hot water usage is bound to increase—and utility bills rise in concert.

In a post on Multifamily Insiders, David Schwartz, president of The Water Scrooge, offers multifamily owners and property managers these three tips for reducing residents’ hot water usage.

1. Regularly inspect hot water heaters. Create a schedule for draining hot water heaters, as sediment will reduce their efficiency. Make sure the temperature setting provides residents with water that is comfortably hot but not wastefully so. Also ensure that pipes run along insulated walls, and don’t be afraid to let faucets drip when necessary to prevent frozen (and burst) pipes.

2. Listen to your water heater. If it is making a lot of noise, it probably needs to be drained. If that doesn’t solve the problem, it might be time to invest in a new water heater.

3. Teach residents about conservation. Schwartz recommends different motivating messages for different resident demographics. For higher-income residents, he suggests asking them to help do their part to conserve resources. For lower-income residents, he recommends explaining that higher utility costs will eventually result in higher rent.

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