Is your Chicago HOA or AOAO cringing every time the monthly utility bills are opened? HOAs can occasionally feel a bit powerless when it comes to energy consumption; after all, buildings need energy to operate. But there are numerous ways that you can save energy without having to stretch the budget. Here are a few free ways that your HOA could promote energy conservation.
Paying Attention to Your Windows
Window dressing alone can be used to manage a significant amount of your condo's energy. Solar energy is highly efficient, even if you don't have solar panels! Make sure that during the winter the windows are open enough to take advantage of the heat from the sun's light -- and during the summer, the windows should be drawn and covered, so that the light doesn't interfere with your cooling system.
Lower the Temperature When Unoccupied
When the common areas of your condominium building aren't occupied, they can usually be lowered to around 50 to 55 degrees. If you're just now starting your energy savings resolution, you can safely reduce most areas in your condominium to 65 to 68 degrees.
Keep the Lighting in Mind
When possible, make sure that lighting is appropriately positioned so that it can cover the critical areas of your property. Make sure light sources aren't blocked off and that the minimum amount of lighting is used to keep common areas safe and comfortable. Switching to CFL bulbs and other energy saving bulbs is a great step to take too!
Switch Communal Washers to Cold Water
If your condo association has laundry machines, switching some or all of the washers to cold water and supplying cold water detergents can be an excellent way to reduce the amount of energy cost. Hot water washes aren't usually necessary for most applications, but you can still keep one or two machines on hot water just in case!
Sometimes there's a limit on what you can do for free. There may be areas of your building that simply need to be upgraded or improved -- for instance, building automation systems can save an average of 15% in operational costs and utilities. Althoff Industries offers comprehensive energy savings services for Chicago property managers. By saving money in energy, you can upgrade your property in a way that will pay for itself over time!