Green Initiatives to Upgrade Your Rental Property
Taking the steps to make your rental property a “green rental” has several benefits beyond having a more conscious environmental impact. A sustainable home often has a higher property value and gives you a competitive advantage in the rental market. You will also notice lower utility bills and less need for maintenance over the life of the rental meaning you or your property manager spend less time scheduling repairs. While you may not be able to make the shift all at once, there are several initiatives you can make that will positively affect your home and the environment.
Replace Old Appliances with Energy-efficient Appliances
Shifting your appliances to updated, energy-saving models is guaranteed to reduce electric and water bills while minimizing emissions. When shopping, look for the Energy Star label symbolizing energy-efficient products and practices. Water fixtures such as low-flow showerheads and dual-flush toilets also prove to be incredibly eco-friendly and will dramatically reduce your property’s water and energy consumption.
Harmful emissions and energy bills are reduced when insulation is upgraded to be eco-friendly. The more effective your insulation is, the smaller your appliance’s carbon footprint. Energy-efficient windows are another eco-friendly investment as they are designed to keep heat inside during the winter while also preventing heat from getting inside during the summer. Another cost-effective way to increase insulation is by checking for and sealing any air leaks found throughout the house around windows or doors. Installing weather strips for your doors and windows or installing insulated curtains can also make your HVAC more energy efficient without breaking the bank.
Install LED Light Fixtures and Encourage LED Light Usage
Making the switch to LED light fixtures and bulbs is an easy adjustment to make that will surely reduce the energy bill. LED bulbs and other energy-efficient lighting use far less energy and can last up to 25% longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. For comparison, incandescent light bulbs only convert about 5% of their energy into light and the rest is lost as heat, whereas LED bulbs only lose 5% of their energy to heat and the rest is converted to light.
Lean In on Recycling Efforts
Setting up your tenants for success and providing them with convenient recycling or composting access can help reduce the amount of recyclable items and food waste that end up in landfills. Take the initiative to educate your tenants on the importance of recycling and what can and cannot be placed in the recycling bin. Implementing an initiative for those who utilize the compost or recycling amenities properly may be a good way to get your tenants involved in your efforts.
Utilize Drought-Resistant Landscaping
Promote biodiversity and support local wildlife by planting native plants and grasses in your rental’s yard. These sustainable landscaping practices can also help reduce water usage and decrease the need for pesticides or fertilizers. Consider the shade that larger plants or trees might supply to the home as well when landscaping. Having a big shady tree in the yard can help keep the property cool in the summertime.
Install Solar Panels
Perhaps one of the biggest investments mentioned, installing solar panels can have major payoffs for you and your tenants in the long run. Solar energy panels dramatically reduce electric bills and maintenance costs. It is also possible for a solar panel to generate more power than is actually consumed which can then be sold back to the government. Financial incentives are offered to residences with solar panels and can offset the cost of solar energy technologies. Look into what programs and incentives your state offers to take advantage of any offers or rebates you may qualify for, and check out this article for more information on the benefits and cost of solar panels.