environmental home

5 Ways to Make Your Rental Property More Environmentally Friendly

Consumers are increasingly concerned about their environmental impact and want to know how to reduce their carbon footprint to become better environmental stewards.

Whether buying a car, a smartphone, a home, or anything else, it’s a good idea to consider how your buying decisions impact the environment so you can make better choices as a consumer.

If you own or want to buy an investment property and be eco-conscious, there are things you can do. You’ll feel better knowing you’re upholding principles that align with your eco-friendly goals. 

Here are five ways to make your rental property more environmentally friendly.

  1. Upgrade the Windows

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says the average household spends about $2,200 annually on energy bills. And nearly half of that tally goes toward heating and cooling expenses. Meanwhile, you can lessen your energy bills by up to 24% if you get replacement windows with the ENERGY STAR efficiency rating over replacement windows that are not ENERGY STAR rated. 

You’ll want to consider how old the windows are on your rental property. Depending on the age of the home and when the windows were installed, it might be time for an upgrade. That’s especially true if you have single-pane windows that are not very eco-friendly. 

While single-pane windows used to be the gold standard, double-pane and even triple-pane windows with inert gas fills between the panes are more common. Multiple panes and inert gas fills are superior to single-pane windows. They’ll make a difference year-round — but especially during times of the year when there are extremes in temperature.

Replacement windows offer better energy efficiency and interior comfort. So, your tenants won’t have to crank the thermostat too high when it’s cold outdoors or too low when it’s hot outdoors. That’ll reduce HVAC use and lower energy bills.

  1. Upgrade Appliances

Another way you can offer rental units that are more energy-efficient and eco-friendly is by upgrading to appliances that use less electricity. You can get fridges, stoves, dishwashers, washers and dryers, freezers, and other appliances that use less energy than earlier models. Upgrading the appliances can be worth the investment and appeal to tenants. 

Don’t forget that many tenants are interested in doing the right thing for the environment, so they’ll take notice of efforts to offer energy-efficient appliances in their rental units.

  1. Install Smart Thermostats

Installing smart thermostats in your rental units is another good move if you wish to be eco-friendly. 

Mordor Intelligence reports that the smart thermostat market is worth an estimated $5.34 billion this year. It’s on pace to climb to $13.36 billion by 2029, which reflects a 20.1% compound annual growth rate over the forecast period. 

If you have multiple rental units, the savings can add up with smart thermostats. One of the great things about smart thermostats is they can be operated remotely and programmed to turn on or off and increase or decrease the temperature settings. 

  1. Install Low-Flow Toilets

It’s also a good idea to install low-flow toilets in the bathrooms. Older toilets use a ton of water whereas low-flow toilets use considerably less. 

According to one source, an older toilet needs seven gallons per flush, while a newer toilet requires as low as 1.6 gallons per flush. The source adds that a toilet requiring seven gallons per flush goes through 12,775 gallons annually. So, the difference between an older, inefficient toilet and a newer toilet that can do the job with much less water per flush is dramatic. The same source adds that the number of flushes for the average household is five.

Another source notes that installing low-flow toilets can lessen toilet water use by up to 60%. It adds that if all old and inefficient toilets in U.S. households were replaced with low-flow toilets, the annual savings would be approximately 520 billion gallons of water. 

You can ensure your rental units are as sustainable as possible by swapping out toilets that use too much water when people flush them. It’s a cost-effective investment that’ll make a big difference.

  1. Install Sustainable Flooring

You can also make a difference by installing sustainable flooring in your investment property. When you’re ready to remove old carpeting or whatever flooring material is in place, look for sustainable options like bamboo, natural linoleum, or cork. It’s one example where doing the right thing for the environment doesn’t have to mean jeopardizing aesthetics or paying more. 

According to Future Market Insights, the worldwide eco-flooring market was worth more than $81.1 billion in 2023 and could grow to more than $112.2 billion by 2033. It adds that eco-flooring represented 9% of the global flooring market in 2023. The research firm says the growing demand for eco-flooring options is due to factors like the prevalence of dust allergies and the desire to make flooring materials safer for kids, pets, and people who spend a lot of time on the floor. 

If the goal is to own a sustainable rental property, these are some things you can do. Some of your tenants will look favorably on these attempts at better eco-friendliness.  If seeking more recommendations about being a better environmental steward as an investment property owner, speak to a reputable property management service provider. You’ll get tips on other areas you can focus on to be an environmentally responsible rental property owner. 

You should be mindful of the property manager you hire. While there are some good ones, you need to find a reputable service provider that is relatively nearby. It’ll be more difficult to get the level of service you and your tenants expect if the property management firm is located far away. If your rental property is in San Francisco, get a property manager in San Francisco. If your investment real estate is in Tampa Bay, find a service provider in that city. And if your rental property is in Fort Worth, ensure you hire a Fort Worth property management company.

You’ll avoid a lot of headaches when you retain the services of a company that is local.