As a property manager, your job is to keep your tenants happy with their living conditions and to keep the property in good repair. If your property is wasting energy, you’ll lose money which leads to raising prices. When costs rise, no one is happy. One way you can stop some of this waste is by replacing the valves around your property and using energy more efficiently.
Types of valves to check
Valves are abundant in the average apartment building. They all need to be checked regularly to avoid costly repairs and ensure the building is as energy efficient as possible. In the water system, look for the gate valve, which lets water into the building, as well as smaller stop valves throughout the plumbing. Pressure-reducing valves may also be present in the sprinkler system, if your building is equipped with one. In your furnace or boiler, zone valves are the most common to have problems.
Zone valves and apartments
Problems with zone valves are common in older apartment buildings. When these valves get old, they fall open and allow gas to flow, even when the furnace or boiler isn’t in use. It’s important to stay on top of this situation and check how these valves are functioning. This issue often gets overlooked, especially if tenants aren’t informed about the way valves function. If you don’t maintain and/or replace the valves, they’ll continue to be an issue.
If a zone valve is always open in a constant circulation building, the money lost is around $30 a month – for just one valve. In large buildings with multiple units, the costs of old, leaky zone valves can be between $100 and $300 a month. This quickly adds up, yet it’s a problem that often goes undetected. The solution is to have the valves inspected or replaced. If they’re between 12 and 20 years old, a qualified furnace specialist should inspect the valves. If they’re more than 20 years old, they need to be replaced. Valves less than 12 years old are probably fine for a few more years.
Hiring an HVAC professional to inspect building valves is a significant financial investment, but you’ll be glad you did so. The energy savings will counter the expense of bringing in outside help. It may take up to two years to see significant savings, but keeping tabs on zone valves throughout your ownership of a property is definitely worthwhile. In addition to being well aware of any problems around your building, having lower energy bills will make the property more attractive in a potential sale down the road. Investors want to spend money on energy-efficient properties, so every bit of maintenance you do will be worthwhile.
Replacing valves is one of many ways you can make the building you manage more energy efficient. Staying apprised of repair or replacement needs will likely be more affordable than installing a new furnace system or energy-efficient windows throughout your property and can make a big difference in the cost of your utility bills. In the end, you’ll help your tenants save money and protect the environment at the same time.