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Retrofitting Your Rental for Energy Efficiency

Green is good. Whether you'd call yourself an environmentalist or not, there's an undeniable beauty in recycling, solar energy and the other plethora of ways people make our planet a little healthier. This opinion has been so widely adapted that folks are looking to turn all aspects of their lifestyle a little more environmentally friendly. That includes the homes they rent.

Cal Bay Property Management's Scott Safadi advises other property managers to consider this when it comes time to make changes to your rentals. Retrofitting buildings in order to improve their energy efficiency isn't just good for the planet. By employing green technology on your property, you can go the extra mile to provide that little something extra for prospective tenants. While this little extra might look like themed decor to one tenant, almost all will agree that energy efficiency is a win for everyone.

The first way to improve the efficiency of your rental? Check to ensure no air is escaping your unit. Conduct an energy audit to determine if and where any air could be leaking. Do a simple visual inspection of each room or call in the professionals for their opinion. No matter how you discover the leaks, seal and insulate them. It's relatively affordable and easy to do so, so there's really no excuse not to tackle this problem quickly.

Next, consider upgrading your appliances to more energy efficient options. Chances are good that you've been meaning to update them anyway. Look for the Energy Star label to ensure peak performance. While you're at it, replace your old lightbulbs with Energy Star certified lightbulbs. Not only are they 90 percent more energy efficient than your average bulb, they also last 15 to 25 times as long. That's what we call a win win.

Finally, if you've got your eye on a larger scale investment and are looking to prioritize energy efficiency, consider some big upgrades. Replace older windows and doors with insulated models. These new designs ensure very little air escapes the unit. Adding additional exterior insulation is also a bit of a commitment, but one that pays handsomely. When you add insulation like expanded polystyrene to your exteriors, you improve insulation without adding thickness to your walls.

- Scott Safadi, Cal Bay Property Management

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