The success of your summer vacation rental depends on air conditioning, but the costs can be steep. You want your guests to feel comfortable, of course, but you also want to keep energy expenses at a minimum. With that in mind, how do you keep your cooling costs low when temperatures are high?
It’s a simple question with a variety of answers. In truth, it’s relatively easy to save on air conditioning when you take a strategic approach to your energy expenditure. Here are five strategies to guide you in the right direction, helping you cut costs without sacrificing guest satisfaction.
1. Clean filters once a month
It’s critical to clean the filter in your air conditioning unit once a month. Dirt and debris can accumulate and obstruct airflow, causing issues with your system if you don’t clear the blockage. Some thermostats have reminder lights that tell you when to change your filter, so refer to these as well.
In terms of savings, you can expect to reduce your energy usage between 5% and 15% if you’re consistent with cleaning. If you live a distance from your rental property, you can delegate this task to your property manager or cleaning staff. As long as cleaning is a regular priority, you’ll see a significant decrease in your energy bill.
2. Seal air leaks with caulk
Inspect the windows and doors in your rental for air leakage. If you can rattle them, that movement is a reliable indicator that the “building envelope” isn’t tight. Fortunately, these leaks are easy to seal, and all you need for this type of problem is a putty knife, paper towels, a caulk gun and caulking.
Regardless of your DIY expertise, you’ll find this project is pretty straightforward. You can address the air leaks in your home in one to two hours, spending just $3 if you’re thrifty. Best of all, you’ll earn 10-20% in energy savings – a significant sum of money when you consider your total yearly expenditure.
3. Use a programmable thermostat
A smart home gadget such as a programmable thermostat can regulate the air conditioning in your rental based on your chosen settings. You no longer need to adjust it in-person in order to manage your rental’s interior temperature. With this kind of tool, you can make the necessary changes from the convenience of your smartphone, allowing for heightened efficiency.
In terms of features, these thermostats enable you to create a temperature schedule. You can choose to increase the temperature by a few degrees at night when the adjustment will go unnoticed, saving you energy over time. In the morning, the interior can cool again to maintain guest comfort.
4. Replace an aging A/C system
It’s advisable to replace an aging system if it’s 10-15 years old, in order to maximize efficiency and energy savings. If your current unit doesn’t work as well as it once did, and you’ve noticed an increase in your expenditure, you may benefit from a change. A new system is a cost-effective upgrade that soon pays for itself.
As context, today’s ENERGY STAR-certified systems can quickly offset your initial investment. They’re an effective solution to steep costs, as long as you’re willing to research your options and browse the available products. With professional installation, they’ll last a long time and deliver the results you’re looking for.
5. Plant shade trees and shrubs
The strategic placement of shade trees and shrubs will help block sunlight from entering your rental. While they may not seem like much, these strategic additions to your landscaping will provide natural shade for your property. This, in turn, reduces the demand on your air conditioning system.
You’ll also enjoy a boost to your rental’s resale value. If you’re selective with your landscaping elements, you’ll improve the appearance of your property and enhance its curb appeal. Given the impressive ROI for these eco-friendly changes, you should consider a visit to a tree nursery sometime soon.
6. Leave clear instructions for guests
Help your guests help you lower costs. If you want to prevent improper usage or potential air conditioning problems, make sure you outline clear instructions on how to operate the vacation rental’s A/C unit. This will help guests remember to check the air conditioning, especially if they want to change the temperature or turn it on and off.
You can also kindly suggest that guests keep some basic energy management tasks in mind, like shutting windows and doors when the air conditioning is running. Reminding your guests to treat your rental like they would their own homes can go a long way in saving on energy costs throughout the summer.
Air Conditioning for Your Vacation Rental
The success of your summer vacation rental depends on your air conditioning — and that doesn’t have to sound so intimidating. When you clean your filters, replace your aging system, plant shade trees or follow a similar suggestion on this list, you can feel confident you’ll save money while maintaining the comfort levels of your guests.
About the Author
Holly Welles is a home improvement writer interested in making the most of any space. Besides writing around the web, she also runs her own blog, The Estate Update.