I recently bought a building that includes four separate apartments.
The building is quite old and features original hardwood floors, doors and moldings.
The big windows and high ceilings make these apartments difficult to heat and cool. When I purchased the buildings there was no insulation in the walls and ceilings. All of the windows were extremely old and leaked a tremendous amount of air. The front and back doors of the apartments lacked weatherstripping and failed to shut securely. When I asked the renters if they had any complaints or concerns, they all told me about chilly conditions during the winter and problems with heat and humidity in the summer. They were unhappy with the performance of the heating and cooling systems and hoped I’d consider replacing them. I checked the monthly utility costs and saw a steady increase over the years. I then hired a local HVAC contractor to look over the heating and cooling equipment. The contractor found that the units were not outdated but had not been properly cared for. The renters had failed to regularly replace air filters and the former owner hadn’t kept up with professional maintenance. A thorough cleaning and adjustment of the heating and cooling system significantly improved efficiency, capacity and indoor air quality. I bought a supply of filters and handed them out to the renters. I also went around the apartments and completed a long list of improvements to eliminate energy waste. I installed installation, replaced windows, purchased new exterior doors, caulked and weatherstripped. The renters are not much happier with the comfort level of their apartments. I’m thankful that the monthly utility bills aren’t costing me as much.