5 Energy-Efficient Home Upgrades for Landlords

5 Energy-Efficient Home Upgrades for Landlords

As a landlord, you’re looking for every competitive advantage you can possibly get to make your property more appealing and profitable. And while there are plenty of obvious things you can do, there are a few alternative investments that might not always be on your radar. Energy efficient upgrades fall into this category.

Top Energy-Efficient Upgrades for Landlords

An energy efficient upgrade might not make as big of an impact as a newly redesigned kitchen with quartz countertops, but it also doesn’t cost nearly as much. Energy efficient upgrades can be relatively inexpensive and deliver significant savings on utility bills (while also making your property more appealing to people who are interested in reducing their environmental footprint).

If you have a property manager, sit down and discuss your options with them. They may be able to point you in a specific direction based on the value of the property, the location, and other comparable properties on the market.

With that said, here are five of the top upgrades you can make:

1. Upgrade to Energy-Efficient Appliances

Replacing old appliances with energy-efficient models is one of the most straightforward ways to enhance your property’s appeal and reduce energy costs. Look for appliances that have the ENERGY STAR label, which means they’re compliant with energy efficiency standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Energy-efficient refrigerators, dishwashers, and washing machines can significantly reduce water and electricity usage, leading to lower utility bills for your tenants and more appeal for your listings. (And if you’re the one paying the utility bills, you can expect to see even more of a benefit – especially when you multiply it across all of the properties or units that you own.)

2. Improve Insulation

Proper insulation is crucial for maintaining a comfortable indoor environment and reducing heating and cooling costs. Unfortunately, many homes don’t have proper insulation. This includes older homes (where the insulation may have deteriorated over the years), as well as newer homes (where builders may have tried to cut corners and used inadequate insulation).

Check the insulation in the attic, walls, floors, basements, and crawl spaces. You can use an infrared thermometer to check where the property is leaking heat in the winter. Upgrading or adding insulation, where needed, can prevent heat loss during winter and keep the home cooler during summer, thus reducing the strain on heating and ventilation systems. This not only helps in saving on energy costs but also contributes to a more comfortable living space, which is a big selling point for tenants.

3. Install Programmable Thermostats

Programmable or smart thermostats are a great upgrade for managing energy usage effectively. These devices allow you and your tenants to set heating and cooling schedules that align with the tenants’ living habits.

For example, the thermostat can lower the heat automatically during the day when the property is unoccupied and bring it back to a comfortable level by the time tenants return. Some advanced models can even be controlled remotely via a smartphone, offering even more convenience and efficiency.

4. Use LED Lighting

Switching to LED lighting is another cost-effective upgrade that can make a big difference in energy consumption. LEDs use at least 75 percent less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescent alternatives. Replace old bulbs in common areas, outdoor spaces, and inside units with LED bulbs to reduce the property’s overall energy consumption. This upgrade not only saves energy but also cuts down on maintenance since LEDs require less frequent replacements.

5. Invest in High-Efficiency Windows

Old, leaky windows can lead to significant energy losses. By investing in double-pane or energy-efficient windows the next time you replace windows, you can enhance thermal insulation and reduce condensation. This will lead to a decrease in the heating and cooling needs of the property.

Although this upgrade can be more costly upfront, the reduction in energy bills can be substantial, making it a worthwhile investment in the long term. Plus, new windows can drastically improve the curb appeal and perceived value of your rental property. (You don’t necessarily need to replace windows if you’re going to sell the home within the next two to three years. But if you’re planning on owning the investment property for at least another five to seven years (or longer), it’s a good idea.

Adding it All Up

Making these energy-efficient upgrades in your rental properties can result in lower utility bills, reduced maintenance costs, and much better tenant satisfaction. While some upgrades may require an initial investment, the long-term savings and increased attractiveness can lead to higher occupancy rates. And, if you’re strategic, it can even allow you to raise your rent to more competitive rates!

Article Submitted By Community Writer

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