There are lots of reasons to consider making your rental home eco-friendly; eco-friendly homes are very attractive to renters, and it shows them you as a landlord are involved and care about not only the home, but the world we live in. Of course it saves both you and your tenants money, which your tenants will really appreciate as well!
Going green may sound intimidating, but there are lots of easy and affordable ways to make your rental home eco-friendly. Here are our top tips:
Install Energy Efficient Appliances
When replacing appliances in your rental home, always look for Energy Star labels, which shows a third party has verified that the product is low water and low energy.
While energy efficient appliances can cost a little more initially, that cost is often offset by rebates and lower water and energy bills. Energy Star-Qualified appliances use 10% – 50% less energy than standard models!
Tip: before shopping, go to the energystar.gov website, where you can research models by manufacturer.
Install Low Flow Toilets
Flushing toilets accounts for 30% of your total indoor water use! Older toilets use about 3.5 up 7 gallons per flush, while low flow toilets use less than 2 gallons per flush.
Think of it this way; If every American used one gallon less water per day, we would save more than 100 billion gallons per year!
Seal Gaps Around Doors and Windows
Gaps around doors and windows are common in older homes, and even some newer ones. Putting weather stripping around doors and windows is easy and inexpensive, and can save around 10% on heating and cooling costs.
Landscape with Low Water or Native Plants
The benefits of low water landscapes are probably obvious, but did you know that landscaping with native plants is one of the best things you can do for the environment?
Native trees and plants need less water, are low maintenance, and give a beautiful, unique feel to the yard.
Install a Smart Thermostat
Not only do they look cool, they can save a lot of money. A smart thermostat, like a NEST adapts to you routine without your tenant having to program it. Let’s face it, many people don’t understand how to program their thermostat or don’t take the time.
If the cost of NEST or another smart thermostat gives you pause, find out if there are any rebates available from your local utility company.
Use Low VOC paint
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) can irritate your eyes and respiratory tract, and may also affect the central nervous system. VOCs are found in many building materials, furniture, carpet and paint.
LOW VOC paints are now common and affordable, so if you’re painting in between tenants, consider using a low VOC paint instead of regular paint. This helps keep VOC toxins from polluting the air and your tenant’s lungs!
Install Ceiling Fans
Installing ceiling fans will save your tenants money on both heating and cooling bills, especially if installed in bedrooms. Most people don’t know that running a ceiling fan in reverse in the winter on low speed helps circulate hot air.
Install Aerating Showerheads
Aerating showerheads are low-flow showerheads that mix air into the water stream. This uses less water, but allows the pressure to stay the same. An aerating showerhead can save around 2,500 gallons of water per person per year!
Even picky shower users will still love their shower, and love the money they save!