Who takes care of the utilities on your rental properties? Do you pay for them? Or do you require your tenants to establish utility services on their own with their own deposits, credit check and make the monthly gas bill?

Most landlords have the energy audit for your rentalstenants take care of their own comforts but regardless of who pays, it helps to make sure your property is winterized to help keep a lid on those utility payments as well as take better care of your units.

In most parts of the country, while winter has not officially arrived, it sure feels like it. And even if lower temperatures are not yet a regular part of your daily life, it’s time to take some basic steps to winterize your properties. What are some of the easy ways to provide a warmer winter home and a cooler one in the summer?

Check the caulking around your windows. That’s easily done and easily maintained, just look for cracks and repair as needed with a new spot of caulk. If you don’t have double-pane, energy saving windows, get them and if you do have them, check for signs of condensation between the panes, indicating a leak somewhere. Even the tiniest of holes can drop the temperature inside to keep the thermostat busy.

And speaking of thermostats, most local utility companies today provide free energy audits and part of that audit is a free, energy saving thermostat. These thermostats can adjust the temperatures when you’re inside the house and active, asleep or gone to work during the day. An energy audit can also provide you with additional insight on what can be done to improve the energy efficiency of all your rental properties.

Do you need more insulation in the attic? Is the furnace working properly and the vents free from dust and debris? Keeping your property winterized will also help keep your property “summarized” as well.

Oh, and a final bonus? Most energy improvements on your properties may be eligible for an energy tax credit on your state and federal returns.