Guide to creating an Eco-Friendly Rental Property: How to Make Your Property Environmentally Friendly for Your Tenants
By Rose Morrison, managing editor of Renovated
The residential real estate market is evolving to meet consumer demands. More people are searching for properties reflecting their personal values, such as environmental conservation. Living in a place they feel good about makes it easier to be eco-friendly and shrink their carbon footprints.
Landlords can make eco-friendly alterations to their properties and attract long-term tenants. Another plus is that sustainable property features also decrease utility and maintenance costs.
Here’s how landlords can reduce a property’s waste and attract eco-consumers.
Demand for Eco-Friendly Rental Properties
The green revolution is influencing changes in the consumer market. More than one-third of consumers will pay more for sustainable goods and services. Therefore, landlords can earn more on their rental properties by adding eco-friendly features.
Global sustainability standards also increase the demand for eco-friendly properties. The United Nations (UN) established the Paris Agreement in 2015 to minimize climate change and hold countries responsible for their greenhouse gas emissions. It challenges leaders to reduce emissions and lower the global temperature.
Low-impact features can help individuals meet sustainability goals while improving residential health and safety. Unsustainable home systems and appliances increase localized greenhouse gas emissions, and inhaling these raises the risk of developing respiratory conditions. Property managers can protect residents’ health and the environment by installing sustainability-enhancing features.
1. Install Smart Thermostats
Landlords can improve their properties’ sustainability levels by installing smart thermostats. The devices use the Internet of Things (IoT) to improve the energy efficiency of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. They do this by accessing weather predictions using Wi-Fi connections.
The systems use real-time predictions to minimize HVAC energy waste. They also divide properties into temperature zones using motion detection sensors, which adjust indoor temperatures based on a zone’s occupancy.
About 80% of the world’s energy supply comes from fossil fuels, and these power sources produce greenhouse gas emissions during the combustion phase. Improving a structure’s energy efficiency with smart technology can increase its sustainability.
2. Insulate Garage Doors
Property managers can also improve rental homes’ energy efficiency by insulating their garage doors. Home heating and cooling features use over half of the residential power supply. Properties with inefficient envelopes may create unnecessary emissions from energy loss.
Individuals can improve their properties’ insulation to reduce HVAC-related energy waste. Professionals may assess a garage door’s R-value when upgrading insulation features. This represents its ability to keep warm air out.
Doors with high R-values can improve air conditioning’s energy efficiency. They may also keep cool air from entering rental properties in the winter. Property managers can work with garage door professionals to find the best options.
3. Add Energy Star Appliances
Energy Star is an energy efficiency rating program for electronics, appliances and other residential features. Properties with Energy Star appliances are about 10% more efficient compared to conventional homes.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) regulate the program. Replacing traditional appliances with Energy Star versions may shrink a property’s carbon footprint. It can also significantly reduce utility costs, which helps residents and property owners save money.
4. Install LED Bulbs
Property managers may also create eco-friendly properties by installing light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs. Traditional incandescent lightbulbs require large quantities of electricity, while LEDs use about 75% less energy.
They also last up to 25 times longer, which reduces landfill pollution over time. LEDs are a simple and cost-effective way to improve a property’s sustainability. The technology is easy to source and install.
5. Create Independent Water Supplies
Property owners can reduce natural resource exploitation on rental properties by installing rainwater harvesting systems. The technology collects stormwater runoff in barrels and pumps it through filtration devices. Residents can use the water for cleaning, bathing and consuming.
Collecting and repurposing rainwater may decrease aquatic degradation and people’s reliance on fleeting freshwater supplies. Only about 0.5% of Earth’s water is accessible to humanity, so conserving the global freshwater supply is an essential sustainability measure.
6. Add Rooftop Solar Panels
Another way to increase a property’s sustainability is by installing solar panels. Photovoltaic (PV) panels create emission-free electricity supplies. They rely on sunlight to move electrons and generate a current of energy.
Transfer wires within PV panels convert electron energy into an accessible electricity supply. Individuals can install an array of panels on their roofs to power an entire property with solar energy. Rooftop PV panels may significantly shrink a home’s carbon footprint.
7. Install Smart Sprinklers
Landlords can also create eco-friendly rental properties by installing smart sprinkler systems. The technology monitors soil moisture levels and decreases water waste. Up to 60% of urban freshwater supplies go toward residential irrigation, so these gadgets can make a huge difference.
Smart sprinklers use IoT to monitor weather patterns and avoid overwatering. They also explore temperature changes and prevent watering during high evaporation times.
8. Autonomously Track Energy Use
Another smart system landlords can use to improve a property’s sustainability tracks energy use. Smart energy monitors connect to a home’s meter to access consumption data. The devices determine how much power each residential system and appliance uses.
Smart energy monitors also connect to residents’ smartphones and tablets. They help people access their energy consumption data and minimize waste.
9. Add a Solar Water Heater
Property owners can also focus on minimizing water heater emissions. Many properties contain gas-powered devices that produce greenhouse gas emissions when warming residential water supplies.
Landlords can swap gas-powered water heaters for solar versions to eliminate emissions. Active heaters are more efficient compared to PV panels. The technology also supports eco-consumers by lowering residential utility costs.
10. Use Sustainable Materials
People can increase a property’s sustainability by adding low-impact materials. They may use recycled cellulose insulation to improve HVAC systems’ efficiency and reduce waste.
The insulation material comes from recycled newsprint. Professionals treat it with borate, which repels pests and decreases the material’s flammability. Property managers can also add reclaimed wood to homes to reduce municipal solid waste.
Benefits of an Eco-Friendly Rental Property for Landlords
Landlords can realize environmental and economic benefits by developing eco-friendly rental properties. They can charge higher prices for sustainable units because they have higher market demands, making it easier to find tenants to fill these green homes.
About the Author
Rose is the managing editor of Renovated and has been writing in the construction industry for over five years. She’s most passionate about sustainable building and incorporating similar resourceful methods into our world. For more from Rose, you can follow her on Twitter.