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Smart Ways to Reduce Your Utility Costs in a Vacation Home

Are your utility bills for your Orlando vacation home running high? I bet you don’t want to hear anything about giving up your heater or other crucial amenities. Perhaps that’s what attracts renters to your vacation home. Plus, there is no way you could be obsessed with controlling how the renters use your facilities. “Switch off this”, “shut down that” – that’s how you get branded as a bad vacation rental owner. And it’s a prerequisite for bad online ratings and reviews. We all don’t want that, do we? Well, the good news is that you don’t have to resort to such drastic measures. There is a way around it. Look at it this way, if you adopt some ingenious energy and water saving strategies, you can eventually cut your bills by up to 50%. The devil is in the details. That is, in how you use those energy consuming facilities and how you set them up. Here’s how you do it: 1. Control your AC usage You can visit an Orlando HVAC repair and installation company to install smart controls for your AC system. That way, you can remotely switch off the AC when no one is in the house. This will also allow you to automatically switch it off when a door is left open for more than 5 minutes. All these functions could be timed by the system so that they can happen simultaneously even without being monitored. You can ask your vacation home rental agency to notify the tenants on how to use the AC so that they can help you save on some energy costs. You can also invest in motorized shades that will allow you to set specific times when they should open or close. This is done through an app on your phone. This will help your renters keep the sun out when its hot and let some sunshine in when cold, hence negating the need to keep the HVAC system on. 2. Use smart water well pumps for irrigation Do you have a garden or a lawn that generally enhances the aesthetics of your property? Then you probably like to have it well maintained and irrigated even when you are not around. The trick is to install a good well water pump with a smart control. You will use less water and you can control when the water comes on. If you are worried about the water pressure going down, you can contact an Orlando smart irrigation company. They will help you calculate the size of your lawn and how much water you need to pump per hour for your well not to run dry. 3. Use LED and CFL Lighting Did you know that there are some renters who like to sleep with their lights on? You probably suspected that when you saw your monthly electricity bills. Well, you may save yourself a lot of costs on lighting by switching to LED and CFL bulbs. They may be a bit more expensive compared to the incandescent bulbs that you are used to putting up in your house. However, a good vacation rental manager knows a good investment will save them a lot of future expenses. LED bulbs last much longer than ordinary light bulbs and reduce your costs by a staggering 75%. CFL bulbs also use about one fifth to one-third of electrical power. 4. Use Energy efficient heaters How about switching to waterless heaters? If your vacation home has access to cheap firewood, you could install a modern wood burner. It involves low running costs and produces very minimal pollution to the environment. You could also go for fluid gas (natural or LPG) heaters. They are convenient since you can control the temperature with a thermostat and a timer and save on some energy costs.

5. Lighting controls You could make your vacation rental home a smart home by installing some automated lighting controls. That way, you can control which parts of the house the lights will stay on and can automatically switch off when there is no one in the room. The lighting system can be fitted with sensors to detect when there is nobody in a room. This technology will also come in handy in controlling day/night lights outside your house. Other lighting solutions to lower your bills include: • Install solar lights fitted with lumen sensors to light the pathways. • Use intelligent lighting control management software that gives you total control of luminaries and sensors to maximize energy efficiency. • Use intelligent sensors to monitor daylight, energy use, daylight, light levels, temperature and carbon dioxide. • Install timers on your light switches to automatically switch off the lights if guests forget. 6. Keep your refrigerator coils clean If you have provided your guests with a refrigerator, you may forget to keep it clean. You may also assume that the guest or the vacation rental manager you hired will ensure that it is clean. That is not always the case. The thing is, the refrigerator coils tend to gather a lot of dust if not frequently attended to. That reduces their energy efficiency by 30%. What you can do is to invest in a good vacuum or dust blower and use it on the refrigerator coils at least twice a year. That way, it will work efficiently, and draw less power saving you a lot of energy costs.

7. Make Your Pool Energy Efficient Vacationers love to visit Orlando in the summer season so pools are a must-have amenity for every vacation home. The energy bills may be high especially when constantly pumping water into the pool and covering or opening up the pool when the need arises. You can lower those costs by installing a variable speed pool pump. It cuts on greenhouse emissions and can save you up to $300 over an ordinary single-speed pump. You could also automate your pool’s heating system by remotely starting the pool heaters. You could simply download an app that gives you access to the pool’s heater and pumps and turns it on, only when necessary. Try looking for a good tech company in Orlando to help you with that. Consider installing solar blankets for the pool. It not only makes the area safer but also can absorb solar heat into the pool.

9. Lower That Pesky Water Bill While energy saving option will bring down your monthly electricity bills, it’s also to look for ways to bring other utility bills down. One way to cut your monthly costs for your Orlandovacation home is looking for ways to lower the water bill. Here are a few handy tips to reduce that pesky water bill: • Fix leaky faucets • Install efficient low-flow showerheads. • Collect rainwater. The water can be hooked up to irrigate your lawn. • Install faucet aerators. These help to limit the water that flows through the faucets hence cutting water usage and consequently, saves the energy to heat water. • Invest in water efficient toilets. A low-flow model will help you splash that water bill. You could also install an adjustable flapper or a tank bag to reduce the water needed to fill the tank on your existing toilet. What Other Smart Ways Do You Depend On?

Utility bills can get expensive, so savvy vacation home owners and vacation rental managers in Orlando are using ingenious ways to save cash. And saving the environment while at it. We’d love to hear about of other tips and tricks you’ve used to conserve energy or save water at your Orlando vacation home. Share your story in the comments and be sure to Like us on Facebook and Google Plus.

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