For most investors, buying a rental property and achieving financial independence is something they dream of. Making this dream a reality will require a lot of hard work and dedication. Finding the right investment property is possible with the help of a reputable and experienced real estate agent.
If you are buying a home as a real estate investment, finding ways to stay on budget is vital. One of the biggest expenses most homeowners and investors have is their monthly energy bill. While using a website like texaselectricityplans.com can help you find the cheapest energy rates, you will have to invest more time and effort into reducing energy consumption.
As a landlord, you will have to start a conversation with your tenants about cutting energy costs as it is mostly in their hands. However, if you can provide them with a few simple (and free) ways, most tenants will be open to the idea as it can save both you and them money.
So, are you looking for simple ways to cut your home energy costs? If so, check out the helpful tips below.
1. Install a Smart Thermostat
The average American home uses around 870 kWh per month. During the summer or winter months, keeping the inside of one’s residence at a comfortable temperature is a must. The only way to do this is by having a functional and reliable HVAC unit.
One of the biggest mistakes that residents make when it comes to their HVAC unit is leaving it on when they are not home. This leads to lots of energy being wasted, which is why finding a way to solve this issue is a must. The best way to avoid wasting energy is by putting in a programmable or smart thermostat.
Not only can a smart thermostat benefit homeowners, but rental property owners can also use them to both save money and modernize the homes or apartments they have invested in. Most people go out in search of a rental property that has the latest and greatest technology in it. This is another reason why investing in a smart thermostat is a great idea.
2. Ask That Your Tenants Don’t Leave Electronic Devices and Appliances Plugged In
Most homes are filled with things like televisions, laptops and tons of other appliances and electronic devices. Leaving these items plugged in can lead to a significant amount of electricity being wasted and an increase in energy costs. Most electronic devices draw power while they are switched off.
Tenants will need to unplug things like hair straighteners and hair dryers when trying to reduce energy consumption. Landlords and property owners need to work on educating their tenants about this energy-saving method. By getting tenants on board, you can help them save money and reduce the chance of fault appliance fires in the future.
3. Remind Tenants to Be Smart About Washing Clothes
One of the best ways to find out where electricity is being wasted in your rental property is by performing an energy audit. When performing this audit, you need to pay close attention to the energy used during the clothes washing process. Many homeowners and tenants make the mistake of washing very small loads of clothes.
Not only does this put a strain on your washing machine, but it will also lead to a lot of energy being wasted. Most modern washing machines are able to accommodate large load sizes. This is why you need to remind your tenants to work on increasing the size of the loads they put into your rental property’s washer.
The team at Energy Star reports that washing full loads can help a property owner save over 3,000 gallons of water each year. By asking your tenants to make this change, you can save money on both your energy and water bill.
4. Find and Fix Drafty Windows and Doors
The doors and windows in your rental property are used daily without much thought. As time goes by, these vital parts of a home may start to show signs of wear. One of the biggest problems you will face with your windows and doors is draft issues.
If air is escaping out of cracks in the windows and doors, it will increase the amount of energy your rental property uses. This will also put a strain on your HVAC unit, which may lead to it breaking down.
For most property owners, performing routine inspections of their real estate investments is something they view as a priority. If drafts are discovered during these inspections, finding ways to seal them up is vital to cutting energy costs. The time and energy invested in caulking windows or installing door draft guards will be worth it in the long run.
5. Install a Clothesline for Air Drying Wet Clothes
Did you realize that the common clothes dryer uses over 3,000 watts per hour? Finding a way to reduce the amount of time a dryer runs is important. Letting clothes air dry is a great way to reduce energy consumption easily. If you pre-install a clothesline for your tenants, they will be much more likely to start air drying clothes than if they had to install one themselves. Making this simple change can cut energy costs, save you money, and may extend the life of your dryer.
6. Invest in Professional HVAC Maintenance
Cranking up the air conditioner is the first thing most homeowners and tenants do when the heat starts to move in. The older a home’s HVAC unit gets, the more energy it will ultimately use during the production of cool air. The best way to reduce the amount of energy a unit uses is by having maintained the unit.
During this maintenance, a professional will need to inspect every square inch of your HVAC system. Be sure they take a look at your ducts and air filter to ensure they are not clogged with dust. These clogs will prohibit air from circulating, which can lead to the HVAC unit getting overworked.
There will come a time when the unit in your rental property will need to be replaced due to age and wear. A new unit will be expensive, but it will also be more efficient. This means you should be able to save money on your energy bill over time.
Becoming Energy Efficient Takes Time
Making your investment properties more energy efficient isn’t an overnight process. Over time, you will start to see the fruits of your labor in the form of lower monthly energy bills and happier tenants if you start following some of the above tips on how to cut energy costs.
This article has been contributed by Amelia Atkins.