One of the challenges of owning rental property is finding ways to make your property more appealing when you are looking for new tenants. A rental property in a crowded market needs unique features in order to draw new tenants when it has availability. One way to make your properties more appealing, so they stand out from the crowd, is by making them more energy efficient. Here are some strategies you can use to slash the energy bills from your rental properties and make them even more attractive to potential tenants.
1. Add a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat, and even a smart thermostat, can help your tenants take better control over their energy usage. When used properly, programmable and smart thermostats can lower energy bills by 10 to 15 percent. That adds up to quite a bit of savings. Install the thermostat, then teach your tenants how to use it properly.
2. Seal It Up
Much of the energy loss in a home occurs due to cracks in the home’s envelope, especially around doors and windows. Take some time to caulk around doors and windows to seal these gaps and put a stop to air leaks. This is particularly important for older homes where the existing caulk may have worn out or disappeared altogether.
3. Adjust the Water Heater
The next time you are in the property, take a look at the water heater. Is it at the lowest comfortable setting? Consider adjusting it or asking your tenants to adjust it. If the tank is heating the water too high, you are wasting energy every time it feels. For old, un-insulated water heaters, consider covering the unit with an insulating jacket to stop energy loss.
4. Schedule Annual HVAC Service
Having your HVAC system maintained in the spring and fall will help make your rental properties much more energy efficient. These annual service checks of your heating system and your cooling system will optimize them and reduce inefficiencies, while also giving you a heads up about potential repairs that may be needed. Systems that are well maintained will run as efficiently as possible, and this translates into energy savings. As an added bonus, well-maintained systems are less likely to break down, limiting the risk of a middle-of-the-night call from tenants who have a broken HVAC system.
5. Upgrade Your Lighting
If you are still using incandescent or CFL bulbs in your rental property, make the switch to LED. LED lights last thousandths of hours longer than these other bulb types and use far less energy. In fact, the cost to run CFL bulbs for a year is almost double that of LED bulbs of similar brightness.
Having an energy-efficient rental property does not have to be a costly investment, but with a little bit of effort, you can lower the energy expenditures of your property. This can make it more appealing and make your tenants more comfortable at the same time.