You may think that “going green” requires an extensive, expensive overhaul of your property. There are some quick, relatively inexpensive fixes that you can do yourself to save money. As a property owner, it’s a good idea to update even if you’re not the one paying most of the utility bills—your property will be extremely appealing to potential renters, and in the event that the home stands empty for a period of time, it won’t cost you a lot of money to keep it inhabitable while you wait for new tenants.
One easy, inexpensive fix is to install low-flow shower heads and faucets in the bathrooms and kitchen. At a cost of about $15, you can decrease water bills by $45-100 a year. Another way to save is to lower the water level in toilet tanks. Having these features makes the property appealing because of the savings renters will experiences.
Another water-related update concerns the water heater. Instead of getting a new, energy-efficient heater, purchase a $30 water heater insulation kit at a hardware store and affix it to the heater. There will be savings of $25-50 annually. Set the thermostat temperature on the heater at about 125 degrees Fahrenheit for greater decreases in costs, and be sure to include the efficiency of the appliance in your advertisement. This will also decrease the chances of something breaking or overheating, reducing repair costs.
Keep repairs down and further increase savings by replacing the furnace filters every 6-12 months. Dirty filters mean dirty air, and particulate matter can cause breathing problems. They also mean higher energy costs and greater chance of the furnace wearing out. Check these routinely, whether there are tenants living in the property or not. You’ll save on repairs, and you’ll gain property efficiency.
Sealing off the windows and door frames will also cut down energy bills. Cracks around windows and doors let hot and cold air escape. Find some weather-stripping at a local hardware store that will stand up to rain, wind, and snow; you can cut heating and cooling bills by 6% or more, another incentive for renters to sign a contract. While you’re at it, you might make sure that there are window blinds in place. This will keep the property cool in the summer (and cut down on carpets fading in the sun) and trap heat inside the rooms during the winter.
These fixes are things you can do as a landlord to promote your property and entice tenants to come your way. Taking care of these things before someone moves in is helpful because energy-conscious renters are growing more abundant; if you handle the installation and include it as part of the property’s appeal, this limits any negotiations between you and renters who might want to update the property to be more energy efficient.