Low Cost Efficiency Improvements

1. Replace Air Filters

air-filter2

Many leases require the tenant to replace air filters. Yet, this is rarely done. Not only is this not energy-efficient, it causes your HVAC systems to work overtime, which shortens their lifespan and causes more maintenance bills.

 

2. Seal Doors and Windows

window-kit

Properties that are older than 30 years of age usually have gaps in the doors and windows that lets cold air move-in and warm air move-out . An ebergy audit will point outthese gaps and seal the “leaks” saving you or your tenants money. A simple, and inexpensive window insulator kit will do wonders for reducing your utility bills.

 

3. Insulate Upstairs

attic-insulation

Insulation is a low cost energy efficiency upgrade and has one of the best returns on investments of any home improvement project.

 

4. Use Shady Landscaping

plant-a-tree

Landscaping can dramatically affect your energy costs. The best part about this investment is that it’s a relatively small one-time investment and it lasts a lifetime. And a bonus is that landscaping increases the curb appeal of your property.

The shade under trees can reduce the air temperature by six degrees, according to the Department of Energy. Because cool air falls to the ground, there can be as much as a 25-degree difference between the air at the bottom of a tree and the top of a roof that isn’t shaded.

 

See Also: Landscaping for Energy Efficiency (energy.gov)

 

5. Change the Setting on the Water Heater

water-heater

 

Hot water heaters come with a thermostat on the unit, any atr set at 140 degrees. The Department of Energy recommends changing this setting to 120 degrees.

Turning down the temperature 10 degrees Fahrenheit on your hot water heater saves 3 to 5 percent on energy costs, so a drop from 140 F to 120 F saves you 6 to 10 percent.

 

6. Change Lightbulbs

light bulbs

Energy-efficient lightbulbs, such as halogen incandescents, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and light emitting diodes (LEDs), can reduce your energy costs, and they last longer than traditional lightbulbs do.

The Department of Energy states that the new efficient lightbulbs use 25 to 80 percent less energy than traditional incandescent lightbulbs and last 3 to 25 times longer.

 

7. Use a Water Heater Blanket

water-blanket

 

You can get water heater blankets at any hardware store, and they cost approximately $25. But you will save approximately $30 a year.

All you do is wrap your water heater with the insulation blanket, and it normally is sealed with duct tape. It takes less than two minutes to do.