The demand for modern, upgraded, sustainable properties is steadily rising in today’s rental market. Features that improve energy efficiency are becoming more attractive to renters–not only because of the decreased impact on the environment, but because it saves them money.
As a landlord, completely renovating your property to include cutting-edge features that improve energy efficiency isn’t always feasible. Luckily, there are cost-effective changes that you can make in order to gain that competitive edge–without emptying your savings account.
This starts with an energy assessment, or an audit where an energy specialist provides you with a list of energy-saving recommendations. From there, it’s time to focus on what’s within your budget.
Here are 4 ideas to improve energy efficiency and attract new renters–without a complete remodel.
How to Improve Energy Efficiency: Tip #1
Buy New Windows and Doors
The frequent opening and closing of doors and windows isn’t the only way that outside air gets inside your home. Older doors and windows have cracks and weakened structures that let in more unwanted air. This leads to a financial burden on your tenants, especially in extreme temperatures.
One particularly cost-effective way to improve energy efficiency is to upgrade to new high-efficiency models that will minimize this airflow. The best part is that this will pay off for you and your tenants, and is an upgrade that you can market for years to come.
“Winterizing your home with energy-efficient, good-looking and low-maintenance exterior doors is an investment that pays dividends for as long as you live in your home,” explain experts at Empire Siding and Windows.
How to Improve Energy Efficiency: Tip #2
Replace the Thermostat
Digital programmable thermostats make it easy for residents to control energy usage by setting the thermostat on a schedule. If you can afford it, smart thermostats conveniently connect to smart phones. This makes it easy for your renters to change the thermostat on the go, allowing you to significantly improve energy efficiency over time.
How to Improve Energy Efficiency: Tip #3
New and improved water-efficient fixtures can save water, energy, and money without sacrificing performance. Your choice of faucets, shower heads, and toilets can reduce your indoor water use by at least 20%. If you don’t want to replace all of your fixtures at once, start with those that you use the most. Be sure to purchase fixtures that are WaterSense labeled, a registered mark of the EPA.
How to Improve Energy Efficiency: Tip #4
Don’t Forget Interior Design
While upgraded features and technologies can always help you to improve energy efficiency and attract new renters, interior design updates have the potential to do so as well.
For example, painting your walls in pastels and light-hued neutrals reflects more light, allowing tenants to use less energy to brighten the space. Similar interior design tricks include:
- Hanging window treatments to keep cold air out in the winter, and hot sun out in the summer
- Adding area rugs to keep warm air from escaping through hardwood floors
- Trees to block harsh winter winds and summer sun
Improve energy efficiency and attract new renters with these simple upgrades. Your tenants will be happy to save money and decrease their carbon footprint, and you’ll have new features to market when the property becomes available again.
Liked this post? Check out Part 2 to learn 3 more ways to make your home more energy-efficient.
Jessica Thiefels has been writing and editing for more than 10 years and is now a professional freelancer and consultant. She’s worked with a variety of real estate clients, and has been featured on Forbes and Market Watch. She’s also an author for Inman, House Hunt Network, Homes.com and more. Follow her on Twitter at @Jlsander07 or connect with her on LinkedIn.