One of the biggest hassles landlords face is managing rental expenses. Stop to think about the ongoing fees you have to pay just to fulfill your duties and keep tenants happy. Utilities, in particular, can take a toll on your cash flow and thus, limit your return on investment. Therefore, today we focus on helping you choose energy-efficient upgrades that can trim expenses for your rental property.
Tips for Making Your Rental More Energy-Efficient
Experts at Bay Property Management Group suggest that energy-efficient upgrades can help boost rental value, but that is far from the only benefit. Even if you’re not the one paying the electric bills, a few changes could be a big selling point for prospective tenants. After all, they want to save money on utility costs too. Let’s check out these simple energy-efficient upgrades for your rental below.
Insulate Doors and Windows
Not all energy-efficient upgrades to improve rental properties require breaking the bank. Are you tired of spending outrageous fees on your electric bill? Well, if you’re looking to cut costs, consider insulating your doors and windows. If your rental is on the older side as far as buildings go, it may have outdated features.
Thus, original doors or windows are more likely to allow drafts or moisture into the home. Although these holes tend to be small, they’re capable of letting out or allowing air in, which can dramatically increase your electric bill. Thankfully, a simple solution is to seal these cracks or crevices with caulk. That way, you can reduce air leaks that affect the rental’s temperature and force the HVAC system to work harder.
Upgrade to a New HVAC System
Your rental HVAC system is an integrated appliance that maintains a consistent and comfortable temperature all year round. Despite being a massive chunk of your energy consumption, you can’t do without it. Thus, it would be in your best interest to invest in a thoroughly efficient one. Although initially a large investment, in the long run, a new HVAC system saves you money.
Besides, most modern units work well with a programmable thermostat. That’s great because it allows you to save more energy by offering more control over your HVAC system. So you can turn it off when everyone is out or adjust the settings at peak times to lower energy consumption.
Update Your Water Heater
Another outdated feature rental properties tend to have is an inefficient tank water heater. Imagine having to heat the entire unit when you only need a small amount of hot water. Rather than waste all that energy, consider swapping it out for a tankless system that only heats water as needed. In other words, it consumes a fraction of the electricity you would typically use with an older system.
However, tankless systems tend to be expensive upfront, making them cost-prohibitive for some owners. Luckily, there are other ways to make your water heater more efficient. One suggestion is to reduce the temperature on the thermostat. However, it’s essential to bear in mind that anything below 110 degrees will encourage bacterial growth. Besides that, you could also invest in an insulating jacket that retains heat longer and reduces your bills.
Opt for Energy-Efficient Bulbs
One of the most affordable energy-efficient solutions for rental properties is to change the light bulbs. Lighting is essential at home because it improves visibility, prevents accidents, and encourages an ambient mood. In addition, good lighting is essential to taking great photos to showcase your property in rental listings. However, you can quickly run up your electric bill if you’re still using outdated bulbs.
LED and other similar energy-efficient bulbs provide better lighting at a fraction of the price. Not only are they cost-effective upfront, but they also last much longer. That’s especially great if you have a large single-family home or multi-family property where keeping common areas well-lit is the landlord’s responsibility. Therefore, if you want good value for your money, consider making the switch today.
Install a Power Strip
When not in use, how many people unplug the microwave, coffee maker, or charger? Not many! In fact, most people leave appliances plugged in without thinking twice. However, this habit can increase your overall electricity consumption through phantom energy. That’s because even when we’re not using these appliances, they can still draw current from the grid. So, what’s the best solution? A lecture to your tenants on phantom energy? While you could try that, a more practical solution would be to install a power strip.
Power strips are both cost and energy-efficient because they help eliminate phantom energy consumption while subsequently reducing your electric bill. Additionally, they offer your devices added protection from power surges and current fluctuations.
Clean the Refrigerator Coils
Understandably, not every landlord can afford to invest thousands of dollars in energy-efficient appliances. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t improve the efficiency of the appliances you already have.
For example, the refrigerator is one of the biggest electricity users in the house, and you might unintentionally be increasing the bill. When was the last time you cleaned behind the fridge? Over time, dirt, grease, and even rust build up on the refrigerator elements. Thus, making the unit work harder than it needs to.
In general, proper preventative maintenance includes cleaning the coils every six months. This is essential to ensuring maximum energy efficiency but also helps to prolong the life of the unit itself.
One of the most common drawbacks of being a landlord is the cost of maintaining your rentals. These bills add up quickly and take a big chunk out of your profits if you do not plan carefully. Thus, choosing energy-efficient upgrades for your rental property is a crucial decision to save you money in the long run.
Thankfully, there are cost-effective solutions that can help you affect change. Whether you choose to swap out for LED bulbs, or completely replace your HVAC, there are simple changes that suit any budget. Either way, if you need assistance in ensuring every aspect of your rental business runs more efficiently, consider consulting a property management expert.