12 Aug Summer Energy Savings
SUMMER ENERGY SAVINGS: COST-EFFECTIVE UPGRADES FOR INVESTMENT PROPERTIES
As the temperatures outside remain high, energy-efficient property upgrades are a win-win for residents and investors alike. Making key changes will reduce energy usage and lower bills for your residents and reduce the long-term strain on the property’s AC unit. They will also improve the sustainability and marketability of your property.
Making a property energy-efficient doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. Simply swap out pre-existing products and appliances for smart products that are designed to save energy and money.
A great place to start making energy-efficient upgrades is at the center of a property’s cooling system, the thermostat. Smart programmable thermostats are designed specifically to generate energy savings and to be user-friendly. For example, the ecobee4 tracks the lifestyle of residents and automatically adjusts temperatures when no one is home. This technology can reduce bills by more than $200. To allow for maximum control and ease of use, the Honeywell thermostat allows users to create a pre-programmed schedule and to adjust temperatures on the go using a smartphone app.
Another key component in keeping properties cool and energy bills low is having the right ceiling fan. The Hampton Bay Rockport Ceiling Fan features quick-install blades, which can be connected in seconds, unlike most fan blades. As an added bonus, these fans have a sleek, stylish design that compliments any décor.
In addition to upgrading your cooling systems, appliances such as dishwashers, refrigerators, washers and dryers should be energy-efficient for maximum savings. When investing in these products, look for ENERGY STAR certified options. Renters and buyers are beginning to expect these products in their homes, so it is important to keep your property up-to-date.
The easiest, yet one of the most effective, upgrades for energy savings is replacing incandescent light bulbs with LEDs. This simple switch will create a lasting impact on your electricity bill. The Eco Smart LED uses 80 percent less energy than an incandescent bulb, lasts longer than a decade and saves you $1.08 per bulb per year.
SEAL THE DEALProperly air sealing your property can save up more than 20 percent on heating and cooling bills, according to the Department of Energy. To do so, focus on three main areas: windows, weather stripping and insulation.
Updating windows might seem like a major investment, but it is a smart one. LowE Vinyl Windows, which are durable and attractive, are a great option. Coated with a microscopic silver layer, Low-E insulating glass lowers energy costs and helps homes stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter by reflecting sunlight away from the home in hot weather and heat back into the home in cold weather. Upgrading windows now is an investment that residents will benefit from year-round.
Another essential fix for locking-in cool air and keeping out the heat is filling in spaces around doors and windows. Weather stripping and caulking are two simple ways to plug-up these spaces and prevent cool air from escaping. Additionally, both weather stripping and caulking are extremely affordable and can be installed in under an hour, making this project both time- and cost-efficient.
Making your property as energy-efficient as possible is a smart investment that will provide benefits to you and your residents all year long, for many years to come.
By Cameron Mickey, Senior National Pro Manager, The Home Depot