One of the most commonly expressed concerns among most renters today is how energy efficient their next home is going to be. Not only are energy prices in Southern California getting out of control, but more people are more concerned than ever with reducing their carbon footprint. As you look at any future upgrades you plan to make, be sure you take both of these concerns into consideration.
However, before you jump in and start spending money on every imaginable energy-saving appliance out there, take a moment to consider which ones are most likely to pay off. Here are a few good ideas to help you get started, all of which your tenants are sure to appreciate.
Adding Weather Stripping to Exterior Doors and Windows
One of the least expensive upgrades you can make to your rental units is to add weather stripping to any exterior doors and windows. Be sure to caulk around window frames and any holes in the walls where utilities come into the home. These simple steps will have a major impact on energy-efficiency.
Add Programmable or WiFi Enabled Thermostats
These devices are relatively easy to install, yet offer significant energy savings. Automating the thermostat allows more stringent control over both heating and cooling. Not only does this help to reduce energy usage, but it can help keep the cost of maintenance down.
Install LED Lighting
There are literally LED light bulbs for every application in your rental units. Be sure to use them exclusively in common areas as well. These bulbs cost pennies a year to operate and have an extremely long lifespan.
Pour on the Insulation
Or rather pour in, blow in, foam in, and lay as much insulation at you can in the attic, in the walls, and just about anywhere else you can find to stuff it. Chances are good that if your rental is an older property, it could use an insulation upgrade, for example, the attic should have at least 10 inches of top-quality insulation. The more insulation you have, the lower your tenant’s utility bills are likely to be.
Upgrade Those Old Appliances
According to statistics, 69 percent of remodeling requests are to upgrade the kitchen, and 70 percent are for the bathroom. If you are remodeling the kitchen in one or more of your rentals, you should consider upgrading to new appliances and fixtures that use less power and water. While you may pay more for these, in the beginning, they will help both you and your tenants to save money by reducing power consumption and water usage.
New Storm Windows or Multi-Layer Glazed Windows
While installing all new windows in your rental units represent a significant investment and storm windows come in a close second, they are sure to reduce energy costs and make your tenants more comfortable. Experts estimate that installing Low-E windows will pay for themselves within 2 to 4 years, no matter what climate your rentals are located in.
These are only a few of the environmentally friendly updates you can make to your rental units. Doing this may also make it easier for you to increase the rents and attract the type of tenant you would like to see in your rentals.