It is all too easy to waste energy. In San Antonio, this is especially true. The hot Texan sun bakes every building in the city and your energy bill pays the price. Improving energy efficiency in your rental property will reduce energy costs, and if your tenants pay a fixed utility fee, the more money you save on energy seems to double. You get the leftover money your tenants pay you and the money that you save on utilities, to begin with. Being energy efficient is a win-win. But what are the best ways to improve a building’s energy efficiency? There is a range of how much money and effort you need to put into your property to make it more efficient. The more you put in, the more you get out.
1.- Lighting Solutions
This change is small, but it makes a big difference to your building’s energy efficiency. Replace your incandescent light bulbs with LED bulbs. Energy Star approved fluorescent bulbs are another good option for this. They tend to last longer and be more durable. These bulbs also cost 75% less to maintain. Replacing light switches with sensors is another way to save energy on lighting. When tenants walk in and out of rooms, their lights will turn on and off as necessary, that way building lights are not being used when they are unnecessary and energy is not being wasted.
Insulation plays a big role in saving energy on heating and cooling. If your rental property is not properly insulated, outside air will seep into the house and make your heater and air conditioner work that much harder. This could mean a huge renovation where you change all of the insulation in your house, but making sure your insulation is working properly doesn’t have to be that extreme. Instead, you can start by checking around your doors and windows. If there are any gaps, that means outside air is entering the property and fighting your HVAC system. Replace the weather stripping around the doors and windows. If you have the money and the property is old, replace the doors and windows. This is a great way to improve a building’s efficiency.
3.- Window Coverings
If you can keep sunlight from entering the house, you can keep it from heating up the property as much. The best way to do this is by blocking the sun’s entrance into the windows. Some companies do this by printing large advertisements to cover all of the windows on their office buildings. Homes and rental properties might think of installing awnings or other overhangs to block out the sun and add a bit more curb appeal. Solar screens or films are another options for keeping the sun out. These are more effective if you would rather not change the outward appearance of your property dramatically.
4.- Replace the HVAC System
This is the big ticket item of the energy saving game. Even though replacing an entire HVAC system seems like a daunting task and will certainly cost a decent amount of money up front, the change will ultimately save a lot of energy. This is only true if the building’s old HVAC system was quite old and inefficient. Usually, HVAC specialists recommend changing your HVAC system after 10-15 years. If your HVAC system falls in that range, it could be costing you a fortune in utility bills and wasting a ton of energy.
More Ideas for Maximizing Rental Income
Having an energy efficient rental property will draw in more tenants and give you a reason to raise your rent, but this isn’t the only way to make more money on your rental property. Keyrenter San Antonio can help you make the most out of your rental property by screening tenants, inspecting properties, providing maintenance, and (if necessary) handling the eviction process. If you could use a little help handling your rentals and want to see what Keyrenter can do for you, call us!