Making your rental property eco-friendly is all the rage these days.
Not only does it reduce your tenant’s cost of living, but it also reduces your property’s carbon footprint (e.g. the greenhouse emissions that are tied to global warming).
Did you know that, according to NASA, there is a 95% probability that the reason our earth is warming up at alarming rates can be attributed to human activity?
This is something we can all do something about.
If you are interested in making your Philadelphia rental property lean and green, without too much added cost, read up on our best tips for creating an environmentally friendly rental home, and start doing your part now.
10 Tips for an Environmentally Friendly Philadelphia Rental Home
Creating an environmentally friendly rental doesn’t mean you have to spend thousands of dollars installing state-of-the-art solar panels, and temperature-regulating walls in your investment property.
In fact, here are some cost-effective ways of reducing your rental’s impact on the Earth that will delight your eco-friendly tenant pool, and not break the bank in the process.
1. Install a Programmable Thermostat
Controlling the temperature inside your rental property using a programmable thermostat is an exceptional way of reducing the amount of money spent on energy usage.
Plus, it is a helpful way for tenants to determine the exact times they want their thermostats running, whether it be to heat or cool your rental property, thus saving energy as well.
2. Change the Light Bulbs
One of the easiest things you can do throughout your Philadelphia rental property, prior to a tenant moving in, is replace all of the old light bulbs to LEDs or CFLs.
Not only will this significantly lower your tenant’s electricity bill, but these light bulbs tend to last much longer than normal light bulbs.
3. Install Energy Star Appliances
When the time comes to upgrade your rental property’s major appliances, look to install those with an ENERGY STAR label.
This label is a government-trusted symbol that ensures energy-efficiency.
Appliances with ENERGY STAR labels are dedicated to reducing greenhouse emissions and other pollutants caused by inefficient uses of energy.
In addition, it offers consumers an easy way to identify appliances that are guaranteed to be energy-efficient.
Though this is a relatively pricey change to make in your eco-friendly rental, it’s a good long-term strategy for helping to save the environment, and your tenant’s money.
4. Mind Your Landscaping
A lot of water is wasted when tenants over-water landscaping in both the front and backyards of their rental home.
If you insist on having greenery in your yard (after all, beautiful landscaping does make for great curb appeal), aim to use native plants that require less water and little-to-no pesticides to stay alive.
This provides your yard with a stunning visual appeal, without the added strain on the environment.
5. Change the Flooring
There are many environmentally friendly flooring options to choose from for your Philadelphia rental property.
And, surprisingly enough, many of the available options are cost-effective as well, making eco-friendly floors a win-win situation.
For instance, consider concrete or cork board flooring.
Better yet, choose bamboo, which is the fastest growing plant on the planet, meaning it can be replenished much easier than the traditional timber trees used for hardwood flooring.
6. Use Low-Flow Everything
Water conservation should be on the minds of every person on this planet.
Water sustains life and without it, we simply cannot survive.
By installing low-flow faucet caps, toilets, and showerheads, your tenants can save a significant amount of water per use, without ever sacrificing their comfort.
7. Use the Sun
Eco-friendly homes pride themselves on using the Earth’s natural resources.
One such instance is the warming of your rental property using natural sunlight.
If it is time to replace the old, broken windows in your rental property, consider adding larger windows that let more sunlight in.
Make sure they have energy efficient sealing and insulation, and of course, encourage your tenants to let the light in as often as possible to warm their home up during the colder months.
If installing windows throughout your rental is not a cost-effective move for you, consider upgrading your rental to have high-quality blinds that your tenant can use to let more sunlight in.
By improving the existing window treatments, your tenant will be less likely to worry about breaking the cheap blinds that many rentals come with.
8. Use Non-Toxic Paint
Adding a fresh coat of paint to your Philadelphia rental property is something that you probably do often.
Take advantage of the environmentally friendly paints on the market today, and reduce the number of pollutants you put into the Earth’s atmosphere on a daily basis.
Look for paints that are water-based and have no VOCs.
This will not only help the Earth’s atmosphere, but also the air quality that your tenants are exposed to daily while living in your rental property.
9. Install a Water Filtration System
A great amenity you can talk up to prospective tenants is a water filtration system.
People are aware of the chemicals and toxins that come in natural tap water.
And, they are also aware of the negative impact plastic water bottles have on the environment.
By installing a water filtration system, you cater to those that want to enjoy fresh, clean water, without the added waste that comes with plastic bottles.
This small addition to your eco-friendly house may even be enough for you to command a slightly higher rent amount.
10. Perform Regular Property Inspections
One of the best things you can do for your Philadelphia rental home, in terms of staying environmentally friendly, is to perform routine inspections of the property.
During these inspections, you can check for anything that may be harming the Earth, or your tenant’s utility bill, and make changes right away.
Here are just some of the things to have on your annual inspection checklist, as well as things you can recommend to your tenant so that they too can take part in reducing their carbon footprint:
- Encourage tenants to use multi-socket extension leads that can be turned off when not in use
- Inform tenants that a lot of energy is wasted on standby TVs, computers, and other major appliances, and that unplugging makes a big difference
- Keep enough space between the refrigerator and wall to ensure proper airflow and avoid excessive energy use
- Give your tenant a green houseplant with their tenant welcome package to encourage cleaner air inside the rental
- Check air coils on the refrigerator and washer and dryer units to ensure there are no broken seals or clogged ducts which can boost energy usage
- Check the seals on all windows and doors and check for excessive drafting
- Collect rainwater in the backyard (if your state allows), and encourage tenants to use it for watering the yard
- Install a solar water heater next time you’re due for a replacement to save on the electricity usage and associated bills
- Make sure all outside sprinkler systems are in good working order and are on timers
- Check the plumbing for any leaks that may be wasting water continuously
Making note of just some of these things, and encouraging your already eco-friendly tenants to take part as well, will help reduce the amount of pollutants in the air and resource wastage.
Turning your entire investment property eco-friendly is likely to take a lot of time, effort, and money.
However, that doesn’t mean you cannot make small changes here and there to reduce your impact on the Earth.
We can help you screen the tenant pool that is interested in your eco-friendly investment, and help lease your property to a tenant that will appreciate your eco-friendly efforts.