More and more tenants in Killeen are expressing concern for the environment and sustainability. They want to live in homes that don’t leave a huge carbon footprint. They also want to keep their energy bills reasonable.
While you may be investing in green energy at your own home, are you hesitating to make your rental property more energy-efficient? There’s no reason to delay. You can do several things to improve the way natural resources are used by tenants in your rental property. Demonstrating that you’re a good steward of energy and environmental resources will make your rental property more attractive to environmentally conscious tenants.
Here are some of the easiest ways to increase your rental property’s energy efficiency.
Insulate Your Killeen Rental Property
A well-insulated rental property can make a significant difference in keeping energy bills down for your tenants, or for you when you’re keeping the lights on during a vacancy. Insulated walls and roofing can help reduce the amount of heat that escapes during cold weather and also trap the cool air inside during hot weather.
Heat is constantly in motion. It moves freely from warmer to cooler areas, so by its nature, it will escape from a warm home into the cold outside air. In both hot and cool seasons, a serious amount of energy can be lost through exterior walls, rather than staying in your home to keep you warm or cool.
Property owners can reduce this escape of heat at their rental properties with insulation in the walls, providing a higher heat flow resistance (also referred to as an R-value).
A well-insulated property is more efficient. It also helps your HVAC system work more reliably, which in turn consumes less energy, lowers energy bills, and reduces your property’s carbon footprint. Insulation could be made from different materials like fiberglass, cellulose, or foam.
For maximum efficiency, consider spray foam at your rental property.
Caulk Windows and Doors and Keep them Sealed
In addition to insulating your roof and your walls, you want to make sure air is not escaping through windows and cracks in doors. Caulking is one of the best and easiest ways to ensure your property is as efficient as it can be.
It’s also inexpensive.
Older rental homes will require more effort than new construction when it comes to making the place energy-efficient. If your property is old, you might discover old or missing caulk around your windows. Air will leak through those areas, just as it will leak through sashes, door panels, and window frames. Seal off any cracks or gaps with caulk.
Turn Off and Unplug Unused Electronics
One of the simplest ways to increase energy efficiency is by turning off and unplugging devices when they are not in use. You can educate your tenants on this simple act, and ask them to think about how they can be more responsible with energy as they’re living in your home.
Many electronic devices consume energy even when they are turned off but still plugged in, a phenomenon called standby energy, so unplugging them all together can have a significant impact. To make things easier, recommend that your tenants install smart power strips to help automatically power off devices when not in use. These strips have money-saving and material outcomes such as:
- Protecting your tenant’s electronics from power surges, especially if there’s lightning. Thunderstorms are not uncommon in Killeen, so this extra layer of protection is especially important.
- Reducing electric bills. Those standby energy intakes of electricity are called phantom charges. You don’t know you’re using the electricity but you’re still paying for it. Tenants may not know about this, and you can refer them to the U.S. Department of Energy website for more information.
- Reducing consumption costs. Tenants who are worried about their bills will be relieved that they’re paying less. Tenants who are more concerned with the environmental impact of how they live will enjoy knowing that they aren’t using more energy than they need.
Make sure you’re turning things off that you don’t need during turnover and vacancy periods as well.
Invest in a Smart Thermostat
Programmable thermostats are the future.
Tenants know that not every rental property on the market has come to terms with the need to be more efficient with energy. So, when they find one that provides systems and amenities that are environmentally friendly, they hurry to rent that home.
Attract highly qualified tenants and help them save on their energy consumption by installing a programmable thermostat, which is also known as a Smart thermostat when we’re talking about Smart home technology.
Your tenant’s heating and cooling costs are the largest energy bills they likely face. You can find a programmable thermostat that’s reliable and sustainable for less than $100. And, it will make a big difference for your residents in the following ways:
- The Smart thermostat will reduce monthly energy bills by only using heat and air conditioning when someone is home.
- They’ll be able to turn the heat and air conditioning on and off remotely. They don’t even have to be home. They can use an app to begin warming or cooling the home minutes before they arrive home.
- Energy consumption will be reduced and the carbon footprint will be lower, providing a greener lifestyle.
There are plenty of Smart home technologies that make sense for a Killeen rental property owner who wants to make a difference environmentally. The Smart thermostat is a great place to start.
Invest in Energy-Efficient Appliances and Lighting
When it’s time to upgrade appliances or lighting at your Killeen rental property, think carefully about which appliances and which lights you will buy. Consider choosing energy-efficient options. Energy Star-rated appliances, for example, use less energy than non-certified models, which can help your tenant save money on electricity bills and use less water and electricity.
Energy-efficient lighting, such as LED bulbs, uses less energy than incandescent bulbs and is longer-lasting, making them cost-effective in the long run. These bulbs are also less expensive now than they were years ago, so you don’t have to make a huge investment when you’re trying to bring more efficient lighting to your rental property.
Make Preventative Changes to Appliances
Your dryer and your refrigerator could be energy vampires, and if you provide these appliances in your rental property, you’ll want to make them as efficient as you can for appreciative tenants. Here are a couple of things you can do:
- Set your hot water heater for maximum efficiency
A sustainable rental property will have a tankless water heater. This is your best shot at maximum energy efficiency. If you have a traditional water heater, check the temperature setting. The default setting for most water heaters is 140 degrees. It’s safer to turn it down to 120 degrees, and that’s also going to save energy. Never set the hot water heater below 110 degrees or you invite bacteria into the system.
- Clean your refrigerator coils
Pull the refrigerator in your rental property away from the wall during the next turnover period. You’ll likely find that the coils behind the fridge can get corroded with dust and debris. Cleaning your coils will reduce the refrigerator’s energy consumption, help the appliance operate more quietly, and extend its lifespan of the fridge.
- Replace the furnace filter
Typically, tenants will be responsible for replacing the air filter. Make sure they’re taking this responsibility seriously. Change that filter every month or every three months, depending on your cooling unit. Clean filters keep the air in your rental home cleaner. They also ensure the furnace and the air conditioning units are running efficiently. A fresh furnace filter will keep the air comfortable and well-distributed. The HVAC unit will continue operating the way it should, and utility costs will be lower.
By implementing the tips and tricks we’ve discussed here, landlords can offer rental properties to Killeen tenants that are more energy-efficient. Tenants today are more educated than ever. They’ll understand that these changes will save money on their energy bills and provide a greener living space.
From sealing air leaks and cracks to using energy-efficient appliances and lighting, there are many small changes rental property owners can make to start improving their rental property’s energy efficiency. In addition to reducing carbon footprints, landlords can also promote their property to eco-friendly tenants, which in turn can benefit the environment and help increase the demand for sustainable properties.
These are some general recommendations we make to all of our rental property owners. If you’d like some customized suggestions based on your property’s age, condition, and location, contact us at Shine Residential Management. We’d be happy to evaluate your investment and talk about any improvements you can make in an attempt to be more efficient with the energy you use.
A property management company based in Harker Heights, Shine Residential Management cares for exceptional single-family homes throughout Central Texas, including in Killeen, Temple, Belton, Copperas Cove, Salado, and Georgetown.