If you’re an investment property owner, energy efficiency is a great way to save money and protect the environment. When you improve energy efficiency of home appliances and systems, you spend less on energy bills. Plus, you help reduce pollution from power plants. Here are some energy-saving tips for your property.
1. Seal Gaps and Leaks
Heated or cooled air can leak through gaps and cracks in the home, driving up energy costs as much as 10%. Inspect windows and exterior doors and seal any gaps that you find. Replace dry and cracked rubber seals on your refrigerator door to help the appliance maintain the proper temperature. Inspect HVAC ductwork and repair all leaks.
2. Insulate Your Property
Make sure you adequately insulate your property. Insulation is rated according to R levels, with higher levels providing greater heat resistance. Attic insulation, for example, should meet the R-38 level or higher. The walls, basement, crawlspace, and garage should also be insulated.
3. Choose Energy Star Certified Appliances
Do your major appliances have the Energy Star label? Energy Star certification means an appliance has energy-saving features that can help you save money. Appliances over 10 years old — particularly refrigerators and clothes dryers — are less energy-efficient and will likely need replacing. It may also be time to upgrade your old HVAC system with Energy Star-certified heating and cooling equipment. Look for the Energy Star label when buying appliances and equipment.
4. Switch to LED Lightbulbs
To improve energy efficiency of home lighting, replace older lightbulbs with energy-efficient LED bulbs. LED lighting uses up to 90% less energy and lasts up to 25% longer than incandescent bulbs. Remember to turn off lights when not in use and use natural light whenever possible.
5. Adjust Refrigerator and Freezer Temperatures
Set your refrigerator and freezer temperatures according to manufacturer recommendations. A good temperature range is 35-38 degrees F for refrigerators and 0 degrees F for freezers. Defrost the freezer regularly to prevent ice from building up more than 1/4 inch thick. Excessive ice buildup can prevent the appliance from running efficiently.
6. Install a Programmable Thermostat
Replace a traditional thermostat with a programmable model to help regulate energy usage. Set the thermostat for optimal energy savings in hot weather for 78 degrees F and 85 degrees F when no one is home. During colder months, set the temperature at 68 degrees and 60-65 degrees F when the property is unoccupied.
7. Run Dishwasher and Clothes Washer/Dryer During Non-Peak Hours
Avoid using the dishwasher, clothes washer, and dryer between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. The power grid is under strain during these peak usage hours, so running these appliances later at night is best.
Wash clothes in cold water and clean the lint trap before using the dryer. Even better, air-dry the clothes instead. Run the dishwasher only when full and turn off the heated dry setting.
Let the general contracting team at RH Blanchard help make your Boston-area property more energy-efficient. To get a free quote, contact us today.