Rehab Updates that Can Save Money on Utility Bills

As real estate investors, it is important to not overlook less expensive updates.  There are a number of updates one can do to an investment property for under $500.  Several inexpensive renovations produce big returns, and will save homeowners money over time.  Some of these include green renovations such as low-flow showerheads and toilets, updates to issues found during energy audits, and rain barrels.

Low-flow showerheads and toilets will save on water usage which will save on the water bill.  Low-flow showerheads use 1.25 – 2.5 gallons per minute instead of old showerheads that use 5 gallons per minute.  Even though there is a difference in the amount of water used, it will still allow homeowners to feel as if they are using the same amount of water.  These showerheads on average save homeowners $150 a year on their water-heating costs, and low-flow toilets save about $90 annually.

Gaps in the foundation and around doors and windows of a home can cost an extra $350 annually on heating and cooling.  The best way to find these gaps is to hire a professional to do an energy audit for a full diagnostic inspection.  This inspection includes thermal or infrared scanners, blower door testers, and smoke puffers. Fixing gaps can lower heating and cooling bills.  Installing programmable thermostats are a great addition to help lower heating and cooling bills too.

Rain barrels help to save on the water bill.  On average, homeowners spend $150 on water to be used outside of their home.  A 2,000-square-foot home produces 500 gallons of water for every inch of rain.  Rain barrels can collect this water to be used to rinse off outside furniture, clean cars, water plants, and more outside duties.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 1,300 gallons of water can be saved during summer months by using a rain barrel.

What other rehab updates can help homeowners save money on utility bills?