When you’re renting, going green can seem like an expense that’s not worth it. After all, who wants to invest money in a property you don’t own? But in today’s market, more landlords are seeing the benefit of making their properties eco-friendly.
When you’re out looking for your next apartment or single-family home, keep your eyes peeled for these five features that will help you save money and live a greener lifestyle!
1. Weatherizing Makes a Big Difference
The first thing politicians talk about when referring to green homes is making the homes we already have more efficient. The process begins with weatherizing. If you’re looking to rent an older home, chances are there are some areas for improvement in this area.
While touring the property, take a close look at the condition of any existing weather stripping around the exterior doors. What about the condition of the windows? Choosing a rental that is well-sealed from the elements will dramatically lower your heating and cooling expenses.
2. Programmable Thermostats Make it Easy to Save
Having a programmable thermostat and using it properly can save you on your heating costs annually. The key is to prevent your HVAC system from running when no one is home to enjoy the climate-controlled temperature.
If the property you’re looking at has a programmable thermostat, don’t be afraid to ask your landlord for a tutorial on using it. Once you’ve set it up, you can just sit back and enjoy the savings.
3. ENERGY STAR Appliances
In the more than 20 years of the ENERGY STAR program, thousands of household appliances have been awarded a certification. Choosing a rental home with ENERGY STAR certified appliances is one of the most significant ways to save money on your electricity bills each month.
Remember to check the appliances you wouldn’t necessarily think to look at, such as the water heater and dehumidifiers, as well as the standard kitchen appliances for certification. A certified water heater could use anywhere from 14-55% less energy than one that “meets the minimum federal standard,” according to EnergyStar.gov.
4. CFLs and Other Efficient Lighting Options
At the very least, if you’re interested in renting an eco-friendly property, you should make sure all the lighting fixtures have some form of energy-efficient lighting solution. CFLs (compact fluorescent lights) are the most common, but LED lights take efficient lighting to a new level and even halogen bulbs are better than standard incandescent options.
No matter what type of lighting option a rental property has, the important thing to remember is that even the most efficient options are wasteful when misused. Always turn off lights in unused rooms to maximize your savings.
5. Low-Flow Faucets and Showerheads
These little gadgets aren’t as bad as they used to be. In fact, many new models with improved aeration have such great water pressure they just might fool you into thinking your landlord actually lied about this feature.
Even if you don’t live in a drought-stricken area, water conservation should be on the top of your mind when it comes to living a greener lifestyle. In addition to reducing shower times and only running the dishwasher when it’s full, having low-flow faucets and showerheads optimizes your consumption levels.
Founded in 2003, SaveOnEnergy.com offers energy consumers an innovative approach to online comparison shopping for electricity and natural gas plans. Operating in 14 states and the District of Columbia, SaveOnEnergy connects its customers to reputable energy providers across the competitive marketplace.