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Landlords: Are Your Tenants Washing Away Energy Savings?

LaundryChoosing whether to provide common area laundry facilities for tenants or in-unit washers and dryers relies on a lot of factors – the number of tenants, availability of maintenance workers (to dredge socks out of the drain pipes of hungry washers), the layout of your space, and the preferences of your prospective tenants who often seek the privacy of in-unit washers. But have you, or your tenants, ever considered the energy equation?

The National Research Center conducted a study on laundry habits of tenants, and found some surprising results:

Tenants with in-unit washers use more than three times the water, and five times the energy per week than tenants using common laundry facilities.

The Center interviewed tenants to explore reasons for this discrepancy:

  • Tenants with in-unit washers do an average of 5 loads per week, while those using common laundry facilities do 2.
  • Machines in common laundry facilities were more energy efficient.
  • That’s due in part because 75% ran on gas, where 75 % of in-unit machines are electric (so are the water heaters used for the in-unit laundry), and
  • Many in-unit washers are small-capacity, making them less energy wise. In fact, 38% of tenants with in-unit washers reported going offsite to do laundry because of the inconvenience of small-capacity washers.

Many tenants reported that they chose in-unit washers over common facilities due to the condition of the common rooms and equipment.

Many tenants also perceived that it was cheaper to do their laundry with the in-unit machines because they did not have to pay per load. No information was given as to whether these tenants paid for water and electricity usage.

Check back while we explore whether the new energy efficient appliances can change these statistics, and whether there are ways to make common laundry rooms more appealing to prospective tenants.

American Apartment Owners Association offers discounts on products and services related to your commercial housing investment, including tenant debt collection, tenant background checks, insurance and financing. Find out more at www.joinaaoa.org.

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