Being a landlord and running a rental property means that you’ll go to great lengths to make savings wherever possible. Even the smallest changes, upgrades or tweaks to the existing rental features can add up to a significant amount in the long run.
One way of achieving this is by making your rental property as energy-efficient as possible. It may seem massively expensive initially, but it doesn’t have to be. With the following tips, you’ll get easy ways of being more energy-savvy, cutting costs and utility bills.
Lighting is an important design element in a room that can easily transform it from a dark, dingy place into a bright and shiny parlour, but it can also add a lot to your electricity costs. If you decide to replace your existing traditional, incandescent light bulbs with contemporary LED lights, you’ll pay more upfront, but you’ll also save more over time. LED lights last up to three times longer and use much less power than incandescent ones. They are also much more versatile and offer more colour and brightness control.
As a landlord, you may decide not to provide all the appliances your tenants will use, but the ones you do offer should be as energy-efficient as possible. Choose the ones that have been rated high for power saving and have a maximum efficiency mode. They are commonly 50% more efficient that standard appliances.
The best example is the hot water heater. They can be set for the optimal temperature of 120F, so they are not wasting unnecessary energy on heating water to scorching temperatures. You can go a step further and install an expansion tank to protect the hot water systems from excessive pressure.
If the option of purchasing new appliances for your rental unit is not an affordable option, there are still some improvements you can make in order to save money. For instance, clean the coils at the back of the refrigerator and you’ll help one of the biggest energy consuming appliances run much more efficiently.
Microwaves are a fantastic invention that make life in the kitchen much easier, but bear in mind that reheating can use up a lot of electricity. To make sure there won’t be any energy waste, clean regularly all the food residue and dirt build-up, as these requires more energy to heat up than the actual food.
While most people have already learned about the cost-effective benefits of LED lights, many people still don’t know that they have the option to save even more money by opting for low-flow showerheads. These showerheads are an excellent feature for rentals, as they use significantly less water than traditional ones, so they easily cut water usage and utility bills.
The common misbelief among landlords is that these showerheads weaken the water pressure, which definitely puts off interested tenants, but that’s not the case. What they do is force the water out fast, so the pressure is still comfortable and the showering experience is positive nonetheless.
Lowering Heating/Cooling Costs
Heating/cooling costs are most definitely the biggest contributing factor to high utility bills. Since these costs make up around 48% of the average utility bill, it’s very important you get as energy-efficient as possible in choosing your equipment.
Here are some great tips on how you can save money on heating and cooling:
- Install a programmable thermostat to help you control the temperature
- Seal and insulate heating ducts, and clean or replace filters in the AC and the furnace as recommended by the manufacturer
- Caulk and seal all potential cracks and gaps in window and door frames
- Use light-blocking curtains, so-called “blackout curtains”, to help you avoid heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer
If you still feel this is not enough and you need more, you can retrofit or replace all existing windows and doors for more efficient models, upgrade the entire HVAC system and even replace the roof and the insulation. This does require a more serious investment, but affordable energy improvement options will make the financial part of the whole story much easier on your pocket.
By combining these tips with proper insulation and regular maintenance, you’ll be able to save at least 30% on your energy bill.
There are many different changes and upgrades you can introduce in order to be more energy-efficient in your rental property, but even if you can’t implement them all immediately, it’s important you make the first move. As your budget allows it, introduce strategies one by one and you’ll be saving large amounts of money by cutting your utility bills every month.
Author Bio: Lillian Connors can’t resist the urge to embark on a myriad of green living/home improvement projects and spread the word about them. She cherishes the notion that sustainable housing and gardening will not only make us far less dependent on others regarding the dwellings we inhabit but also contribute to our planet being a better place to live on. You can check her out on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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