3 Tips to Save Money on Airbnb Utility Costs

save money airbnb utilities

When it comes to running a successful vacation rental business, saving money where you can means higher profits and more cash in your bank account. That’s just a no-brainer.

So when you don’t live in your vacation rental full-time (or even if you do), how do you cut costs without cutting corners? Make some small adjustments to lower your utility bills.

While you may not see a significant change right away, over time, you’ll be able to see a steady decrease.

Here are 3 easy things you can do to lower your energy costs.

1. Trade out your traditional, “incandescent” light bulbs for energy efficient bulbs.

This is likely the tip you’ve heard over and over, and if you haven’t already changed your old, incandescent light bulbs or stopped buying them, what the heck are you waiting for?

Sure, energy efficient bulbs are more expensive, but they last exponentially longer and can save you a bundle of money on your electric bill.

You have a couple of choices when it comes to choosing more energy efficient bulbs: You can go with LED bulbs or CFL (Compact Fluorescent Light) bulbs. To put things into perspective, here’s a quick cost and usage breakdown for what would equate to a 60-watt incandescent bulb:

Incandescent CFL LED
Cost Per Bulb $1-1.50 $2-3 $4-6
Hours of Use 1,200 hours 8,000 hours 25,000 hours
Total Lifespan 0.14 years 0.9 years 2.85 years
Cost over 1 Year $10.95 $2.29 $4-6
Cost for 25,000 Hours ~$31.25 ~$9.38 ~$6


Now, $11 per year for incandescent light bulbs might not seem like much, but stop to consider that the $11 is for a single bulb… And how many do you have in your lamps and light fixtures throughout your home? Probably more than one.

In the end, it’s worth it to buy the more expensive bulb upfront.

Want to know more about the differences between LED, CFL, and incandescent bulbs? Check out this handy guide from The Simple Dollar.

2. Reset your hot water heater temperature.

The average hot water heater temperature can generally be set as high as 140 degrees Fahrenheit – that’s hot enough to straight-up scald someone. Though this tends to be the default setting, it’s unnecessary for most households and for more than one reason.

Aside from the burn risks, according to data compiled by the U.S. Department of Energy, setting your water heater temperature too high can drive your annual energy bills anywhere from 4-22% higher than they might otherwise be. Seeing as you have little control over how much hot water your guests use or how often they run the taps or appliances in your place, doing what you can to lower your energy costs is a win.

Experts recommend setting your water heater at 120 degrees. This is still hot enough to deter any bacteria growth and won’t mean cold showers for anyone staying at your vacation rental.

3. Do an insulation check.

If you have leaky windows, door seals, or ductwork, you could be overpaying to cool your home every summer. Like your mom used to tell you, you’re not paying to air condition the outside!

Checking your seals and insulation isn’t as challenging as you think – here are a few tips on how to do it yourself. Alternatively, you can always hire a professional to check your place for you.

Saving money on expenses is a fantastic way to increase your take-home pay from every booking you secure. It doesn’t have to be difficult, either. All it takes is a few conscious changes and, before you know it, you’ll be looking for other ways to save a dime or two.

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