Landlording & Rental Properties

6 Ways to Save Energy (and Money) on Your Vacation Home Rental

Expertise: Landlording & Rental Properties
61 Articles Written

Owning a vacation home is just like running a business — you have to constantly work to improve your rental income and also look at ways to save money.

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I thought I would start a series on ways we save our homeowners money on their monthly bills. This week’s article is going to be about money saving tips on cooling or heating your vacation home.

With the constant rise of fuel cost, many vacation homeowners’ electrical bills can be astronomical. The more we can help save the homeowner on their electrical bills, the better the financial statements for their vacation home businesses look at the end of the year.

Related: The 4 Reasons a Higher HOA Fee is Good for Your Vacation Home Community

6 Ways to Save Energy in Your Vacation Home

1. Preventative Maintenance on the AC

A properly running AC can save the homeowner hundreds and possibly even thousands of dollars a year.

In fact, the way the air conditioners are built today, an inefficient AC can run for years without breaking down. By doing the preventative maintenance, we can ensure that the system is running properly and efficiently.

2. Check All Window and Doors

It is a good idea twice a year to make sure all windows and doors are shutting properly and that there is a tight seal to avoid any loss of cool air. It is also a good idea to caulk all window seals at least once a year.

Over time houses settle and when they do, cracks appear in the seal of the doors and windows.

3. Add Window Tinting

Many vacation homes here in Orlando have huge windows to allow the natural light in.

While natural light is great, if a window is being hit by direct sunlight while the sun is rising or setting, this can make your electrical bill skyrocket. By adding a tinting film to these windows, you can save as much as 20% on your electrical bill.

4. Proper Insulation

It amazes me sometimes that in vacation homes the builders skimp on the attic insulation.

I suggest that many vacation homeowners should have at least 12 inches of insulation in their attic. If you live in a hotter (or colder) environment like Orlando, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to make sure you have at least 15 inches of attic insulation.

5. Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat allows you to set the AC at a certain temperature and it does not allow your guests to change the temp. By having your home at constant 74 degrees, you can save yourself up to $300 a year. Not too shabby.

Related: Buying a Vacation Home as an Investment: Fun, Sun, and Income?

6. Pool Filtering Systems

If your vacation home has a pool, you should have the pool filtering system checked at least annually to make sure it is working efficiently. I also suggest looking at how long your filter should be on during the day.

One of our homeowners turned me onto this tip earlier this year, and he reported to me that he is saving over $100 a month by changing the filtering time from the standard 12 hours a day to 9 hours a day. There are several sites where you can figure out how long your filter should be running each day that will help you save money and still keep your pool well filtered.

I hope you find these tips for your vacation helpful. Next week we will look at more money saving ideas that will help you keep up your home without draining your bank account.

Vacation homeowners: What do you do to save energy (and money) on your rental?

Please join in on the discussion below!

Trey Duling is the President/CEO of, a large travel company specializing in Florida getaways. He has over 27 years of...
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    Glenn F.
    Replied over 6 years ago
    Switching to CFL bulbs, making sure the hot water heater is set to 120 deg, putting in low flow shower heads and sink aerators, and low flow toilets also are money savers with a quick return on investment.
    Replied over 6 years ago
    For our vacation rental in the Disney area, we have a pool blanket that we use to help the pool retain the heat during the winter months. This has really helped with gas costs. We also use a thermostat that is linked to the internet and we can monitor the temp that the guests have set, as well as change it from a distance if necessary. We remind guests to close the blinds before they leave in the morning and not to turn off the A/C system before they leave the house. Also, having alarms on all doors leading to the pool area not only is safe for the young ones, but it also does not allow the guests to leave the doors open, letting the A/C outside.