As a landlord, there are two main reasons for you to make each of your properties more energy efficient: (a.) You make the property more appealing to renters who will pay for utilities and (b.) If you rent the property with no utilities charged to the renter, you’ll ensure that, no matter how much energy the renter uses, your bill will be as cheap as possible.
Old space or new space, your property will, at some point, need updates in the following categories, but remember that not all of these need to completed in one season. If you have one expensive upgrade and a few inexpensive upgrades, then space them out. Each time a renter leaves and a new one moves in, take that time to make your apartment greener.
Tip 1: Update Appliances
While this is one of the more expensive categories to making your property greener, it’s also one of the best ways to capture renters’ interest. Old property, new dishwasher: not only does this make the space seem more livable to the renter, but that new dishwasher will likely be more energy- and water-efficient than the one before. Same goes with refrigerators, stovetops, showers, garbage disposals. The more updated your appliances, the less energy they’ll use.
Tip 2: Add Insulation
The ever-present insulation problem. There are several strategies to make your property more insulated, and the prices vary widely. If you can strategize with your renter, you might be able to get it in the lease that you will install window shrink film during the winters, which can substantially reduce warm air leaking out through the windows. Or you might take the time and effort to inspect the attic and consider adding newer, more efficient insulation. Bottom line, you don’t want to put too much pressure on your HVAC system…
Tip 3: Energy Efficient HVAC System
HVAC systems are the costliest appliances you’ll have to buy to keep your property heated and cooled, so it can be difficult to decide on an energy-efficient HVAC, as these will likely be more expensive. But since this will be a property you’ll own for far longer than most people own houses—as it’s a constant source of revenue—investing in a good energy-efficient HVAC system will keep heating and cooling bills lower over time. It’s a good investment.
Tip 4: Seal the Windows
The best way to seal your windows during the winter is with window shrink film, but you can make this even more efficient with removable caulking along the edges of the window to prevent further cold air getting in—or warm air getting out. Then, when the warm seasons return, these peel off without leaving any residue on the window.
Tip 5: Change the Filters
One of the best ways to keep your air flow clean, efficient, and healthy is to use good air filters, and to change them often, every few months or so. Some filters may claim to last longer, but this can overwork your HVAC system—and that means a higher energy bill. You’ll want to talk to your tenant about any allergy issues in case you need to use a filter to fit their needs, but otherwise a good quality filter (replaced often—can’t say that enough) will overall help keep your property green and efficient. This applies as well to not only the furnace filters but also the water filters like the Discount Filter UKF8001 filter.