10 Tips for Creating an Eco-Friendly Home

by Cora Gold | Published: May 29, 2020

Landlords want to create a rental property tenants will love, which means understanding what they want. Many people want to go green, especially where they live. If they can rent an eco-friendly home that encourages their sustainable lifestyle, they're more likely to sign the lease.

If you want to attract more tenants and transform your property, use these 10 tips for creating an environmentally friendly rental. With a few changes, you can create a place for future tenants to thrive in eco-friendly ways and love where they live.

1. Pay attention to landscaping

Some landlords will need to start from the beginning and plan out their landscaping. If you have the flexibility to rearrange your property's layout, make every decision with the planet in mind. You can opt for native plants that are better for bees and other wildlife in your area.

You should also work with landscaping companies that use eco-friendly pesticides. These substances are better alternatives to yard treatments made with damaging chemicals that end up in nearby waterways. These easy, small choices will have lasting impacts on the environment. 

Different types of trees placed in winding pattern and planted in a path of rocks, located in the middle of the yard.

2. Choose eco-friendly appliances

Some of the more affordable properties come with standard, less efficient appliances, while the pricier rental homes generally already have the upgraded appliances. Try to pick more energy efficient refrigerators and stoves for your eco-friendly home. Look for the Energy Star stickers and products that consume less energy. Your future residents will appreciate using less power while still using necessary appliances every day.

The pointer finger pressing the eco-friendly button on the washing machine.
Modern washing machines generally come with the option for an eco-friendly setting.

3. Buy programmable thermostats

Traditional thermostats may not accurately record interior temperatures, causing the fan to run more than necessary. It's especially common for this to happen if the thermostat has been in use for years.  Buy programmable versions instead, which have digital screens allowing residents to program what temperature they want their unit to be at during different times of the day. They won't need their air conditioning running on full blast at 3 a.m., but they will during a summer afternoon.

Women is adjusting the temperature using a digital thermostat in an eco-friendly home.

4. Install modern shower heads

Modern shower heads are "low-flow," which means they use less water per minute than earlier versions. Residents can conserve their water usage without cutting down their showering or laundry routines, which makes a difference for the planet. 

Hand holding up a shower head that is turned on with water flowing out.

5. Pick LED bulbs

When installing light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs in units before tenants move in, you'll save up to 17 watts of energy every time they turn on the lights. It's up to residents to choose their lightbulbs after these burn out, but encourage them to stick with these more energy-friendly bulbs instead.

Person is changing lightbulb from a traditional lightbulb to an LED lightbulb in an eco-friendly home.
LED lightbulbs are one of the easiest ways to save energy in an eco-friendly home.

6. Choose reclaimed wood

Before you install floors or cabinets, choose reclaimed wood materials to upgrade every unit. Reclaimed wood comes from structures made of upcycled wood, so you won’t use any new trees to build your eco-friendly home.

Various pieces of different colored reclaimed wood put together to make wood flooring in an eco-friendly home.

7. Seal the windows

Between window panes and walls are tiny gaps where the air conditioning and heating can slip out. When this happens, HVAC units run longer and more often. Seal every window in your unit well and check on them frequently so your residents can continue to save energy and money.

Man sealing the bottom edge of a windo with caulk in an eco-friendly home.

8. Replace air filters regularly

HVAC units may also run longer if they struggle to circulate through clogged filters. Replace the air filters at least every two months in an eco-friendly home to ensure smooth airflow throughout the year.

Man installing air filter in ceiling vent in an eco-friendly home.

9. Research your paint

You can start revamping your home by simply buying new paint, but not every kind is good for the environment. Instead, opt for non-toxic paint to use on all interior spaces. Your tenants won't be able to tell the difference visually, but mention it in your property’s descriptions so future eco-friendly residents know you care about the little details.

10. Get sprinkler timers

Some rental properties use sprinklers to keep the grass green. If you decide to have a sprinkler system, make sure yours has a timer. Monitoring how long your sprinklers run will save you money and prevent them from overwatering the property after a rainy day.

A hand is turning a nob on an control panel to set the timer on his sprinkler system in an eco-friendly home.

Learn about every green decision

There are always ways for landlords to create eco-friendly rentals if they do their research. Invest in reclaimed wood, energy-saving appliances and non-toxic paint to start transforming your property into one that benefits planet Earth.

Categories: Landlords

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