Making a home more energy efficient may not seem like something that you immediately want to add to your “to-do” list until you discover the many benefits. Do you think that taking steps to make your home or rental property energy efficient may save a few dollars and is not worth the expense? You may be shocked to learn how much you will save, and the other benefits of making some changes and updates, whether you own one property or dozens of properties.

Consider these tips for making your home or rental properties more energy efficient. 

Upgrade the HVAC System 

Upgrading the HVAC system in a home may seem like a jaw-dropping consideration until homeowners learn how much they save after replacing an old HVAC system. Choose HVAC equipment that is suitable for the climate where the home is located and choose Energy Star-certified equipment. 

Consider the fact that a new HVAC system saves up to $150 a year for homeowners and for owners of rental properties. The Federal Trade Commission indicates that along with the price, it is essential to look at energy efficiency when shopping for a new HVAC system. Look for the EnergyGuide label. It is on furnaces, central air conditioner units, heat pumps, and water heaters. An EnergyGuide label indicates how much energy the product uses and how it compares to similar products. 

Look for the Energy Star logo. The presence of this logo indicates that the product meets energy efficiency guidelines that have been set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 

Consider financial incentives for purchasing and installing an upgraded HVAC system. Principle residence owners may be able to claim a tax credit of up to $2,000 when they claim the Air Source Heat Pumps Tax Credit. 

Switch to Energy Efficient Lighting 

Switching to energy-efficient lighting is an easy, but significant way to increase the energy efficiency of a home. Homeowners who live in their primary residence, and landlords of rental properties will save money while increasing the efficiency of the home’s lighting. 

The cost of LED light bulbs has decreased significantly since they were first introduced as an efficient way to replace traditional incandescent light bulbs. The cost is expected to decrease more as LED light bulbs become more available.  

Save money while using the same amount of light. Remember to replace outdoor lighting with energy-efficient LED light bulbs.  

Landlords who have rental properties will see savings if they pay the electric bill or while they  engage in easy tenant screening services services to select a new tenant. Tenants who are responsible for the electric bill will likely have a lower electric bill when they move into a home with energy-efficient lighting. 

Invest in Energy Efficient Windows  

Updating windows improves energy efficiency, which results in utility savings. Look for the Energy Star and the label from the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) when shopping for energy-efficient windows that meet your needs. Landlords may have different window needs for their various properties. 

Homeowners who are not experienced in installing windows should leave the job to the professionals. Avoid air leaks or other costly issues by hiring trained professionals to install energy-efficient windows according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Do not risk trying to prove that you have the skills to install the windows when you really do not know which end is up. Calling a professional will give you the confidence that the windows are properly installed and that you may have saved yourself some embarrassment.

Do you prefer to update your existing windows to improve their efficiency? Check the windows for air leaks. Caulk and weatherstrip to eliminate any air leaks. 

Add energy-efficient window coverings in your own home and your rental properties. Add storm windows for additional efficiency. 

Install a New Thermostat 

Installing a programmable thermostat or a smart thermostat increases efficiency. Smart thermostats reduce the heating and cooling, or they turn off when you sleep or when you are away.

Landlords will appreciate this feature because it can save on energy costs when a rental property is vacant until the tenant puts the utilities in their name. Homeowners who are away will enjoy the savings features of the smart thermostat. 

Upgrade Bathroom Ventilation Fans 

A new Energy Star-certified ventilation fan uses around 50 percent less energy, compared to standard types of ventilation fans that you use in the bathroom or any other area. The Energy Star-certified fans have greater efficiency and longer life over older models. 

Eliminate moisture and remove odors in the bathroom when you upgrade the bathroom ventilation fan. 

Install Energy Star Appliances 

Look for energy-efficient appliances, whether you plan to install them in your own home or in your rental properties. Granted, the upfront cost may be more expensive than appliances that are not energy efficient. The savings that you have on utility bills and the reduced energy make purchasing energy-efficient appliances well worth the extra upfront cost. 

The savings on each Energy Star appliance varies from one appliance to another type of appliance. Energy Start-certified refrigerators use around 10 percent less energy. An Energy Star-certified dishwasher can save thousands of gallons of water and uses less energy than older dishwashers. Other types of energy-efficient appliances use less energy and have similar savings on utility costs.

It is important to note that 81 percent of home buyers listed energy-efficient appliances on their “must have” list. 

What Statistics Indicate about Making a Home Energy Efficient 

Homeowners and landlords who take the time and effort to make a home more energy efficient lower their energy bills and help to make environmentally friendly energy choices. Consider some benefits of making a home more energy efficient, which include: 

  • Upgrading to a high-efficiency HVAC system can cut energy costs by up to 20 percent 
  • Installing an Energy Star-certified heat pump water heater can save almost $5,000 over the lifetime of the water heater 
  • Nearly 80 percent of home buyers desire an Energy Star for the entire home 
  • LED bulbs result in up to 75 percent greater energy efficiency when compared to traditional incandescent bulbs 


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