Energy Saving Tips for Utah Tenants

Energy Saving Tips for Utah Tenants

As greater awareness is raised regarding responsible energy consumption, many Utah homeowners have discovered creative ways to cut energy bills and save them a significant amount of money each month on their utility bills. But what about Utah renters? Unfortunately, many Utah leases prohibit tenants from making the necessary improvements to capitalize on these energy savings. Not only are renters limited in alterations they can make to the property, but many times aren’t aware of what changes to make in order to be more energy-efficient.

So what actions can a tenant take to reduce his/her energy consumption without violating the terms of the lease? Below are several measures to reduce energy bills that do not require permission from the homeowner:

 

Replace incandescent lights with compact fluorescent bulbs – Using compact fluorescent bulbs increases the life of the bulb by five years and can save over $60 in energy costs over the life of the light bulb.

Use your ceiling fans correctly – In the summer, make sure your fans are turning counter clockwise to force air down and provide a cooling effect. In the winter, rotate them clockwise to pull cool air up from the floor and gently push warm air down. This will result in significant savings on your heating and cooling costs.

Utilize your microwave anytime you can – Cooking with a microwave use two-thirds less energy than cooking with a stove.

Look for Energy Star-certified products – Many times a landlord provides the major utilities for a rental property, but a tenant can still utilize Energy Star products like televisions, DVD players, and computers.

Use cold water anytime that you can – Heating water requires energy; anytime cold water can suffice (especially with regards to small appliances like a garbage disposal), energy will be saved.

Fill the refrigerator – By stocking the refrigerator with more food, it prevents warming once the door has been opened. This results in the refrigerator staying cool without having to work as hard.

 

Even though a tenant does not own their property, it does not mean they can’t save money by reducing energy costs. Energy conservation not only helps the environment, but can provide significant utility bill savings as well.

Utah Maintenance Quick-tips Part 2

Utah Maintenance Quick-tips Part 2

Part 2 in our series of fixing common maintenance issues! We have more great tips for keeping your rental home in tip-top shape. 

 

How do I reset my breakers?

The first step is to turn off the light switches and unplug the appliances in the room that have lost power. The tenant should then find the circuit breaker box in the house and locate the “tripped” breaker. This breaker will be in the “off” position or in the middle position between “on” and “off”.  You can then reset this breaker by moving it to the “off” position and then back to “on.

 

How do I prevent rodents?

To prevent rodents from entering your Utah rental home, it is best to keep the doors closed as much as possible. Regular sweeping and vacuuming will also prevent food particles from piling up and will detract the rodents from your home. All food should be properly sealed and stored in a cabinet. Finally, another great tip is to verify there are no holes connecting the inside to the outside of your rental home.

 

How do I replace my furnace filter?

The furnace filter is located inside the blower compartment of the unit. When changing the filters, you should always turn the power off at the main circuit breaker. The tenant should then remove the central return grill and remove the old filter. It is imperative to look at the new filter and determine which direction it needs to be installed for air to flow correctly. After placing the new filter in the unit, the return grill can be placed back on the unit and power restored.

Utah Maintenance Quick-tips Part 1

Utah Maintenance Quick-tips Part 1

When moving into any Utah rental property, you will find that there are several common situations that leave you asking – “How do I fix that?” Below is guide that will help you through some of the common maintenance issues you’ll come across when renting a home in Utah.

 

How do I unclog a drain?

If a drain is running slow and needs attention, there are several simple remedies that a tenant can try. A simple fix is to buy a bottle of “Organic drain cleaner” from a Utah supermarket or hardware store. It usually requires half to three-quarters of the bottle and a set time of approximately 20-30 minutes. You can then flush with hot water. Depending on the severity of the clog, this may need to be repeated 2-3 times. Be sure to read the directions on the bottle, however. For more severe clogs, the drain my need to be “snaked” and you should contact your Utah property manager with a maintenance request.

 

How can I keep my garbage disposal working properly?

You should always be very careful with the types of foods that are thrown into your garbage disposal. Fat from meats and bones should never be placed in the garbage disposal, as they are very hard substances that can ruin the blades. Popcorn kernels can also be very detrimental as they can wedge themselves between the blades and the wall, which will jam the appliance. To keep the blades sharp, place ice cubes in the disposal and let it run. You can also deodorize it by grinding orange/lemon peels, or sprinkling a little baking soda.

 

How do I test a smoke detector?

Each smoke detector has a test button somewhere on the unit. By holding this button, the detector will produce a loud noise. If the unit does not produce any noise, the tenant may look into checking if the batteries and see if they need to be replaced. If new batteries do not solve the issue, the tenant should contact the Utah property management company regarding the defective unit and fill out a maintenance request.

Why Every Utah Tenant Needs Renters Insurance

Why Every Utah Tenant Needs Renters Insurance

When moving into a new property, Utah tenants will usually focus on the small details like where to position the couch and television or where to hang the pictures. The last thing that the renter wants to think about is something potentially going wrong with his/her new home. The reality is, considering this possibility is very prudent and needs to be recognized by more Utah renters. So how should a renter protect himself/herself from these situations? Renters insurance is an affordable option that offers this type of protection.

 

What is Renters insurance?

Renters insurance is a policy that will protect tenants from a variety of issues that can arise while occupying a Utah rental property. This protection includes losses as result of:

  • Theft/Burglary
  • Fire Damage
  • Smoke Damage
  • Water Damage
  • Wind Damage

 

How much does Renters Insurance cost and what do I get for my money?

Renters insurance can cost as little as $10-20 per month and can cover tens of thousands of dollars in personal belongs and several hundred thousand dollars in liability.  Even if a renter doesn’t believe that his/her belongings are very valuable, he/she may be surprised to learn how quickly televisions, DVDs, clothing, and kitchen appliances add up.

 

What do I need to do to protect myself?

After moving into the new property, the tenant should take an inventory of all his/her personal items. The renter should determine a realistic value for each item in order to ensure proper personal property coverage. It is also recommended to take photographs of each room, in addition to saving all receipts of large purchases while living at the property. This documentation should be kept safe at all times (it is even recommended to store in a fireproof box), in the event the renter needs to make a claim.

Renters insurance is often one of the most overlooked types of insurance, but it can end up being one of the most valuable that is held. Purchasing a policy can not only protect a tenant’s possessions, but can also provide a piece of mind that it is difficult to put a price tag on.