Tips for Apartment Renters on Conserving Energy and Money
Renters Can Still Conserve Energy
Apartment renters often feel like their energy bills are out of their control. While it's true that renters are stuck with the heating and air conditioning units in their apartment, there are lots of other way apartments dwellers can save energy and money, starting with considerations even before moving in. Given the environmental and financial benefits of saving energy, I hope you can put these ideas into practice in your apartment.
Saving Energy Starts Before You Move In
Before you even move in, you can (and should) start thinking about your energy bills. This starts by picking the right apartment complex. Ask the leasing company how much utilities typically run in the complex. Also ask for a list of energy-saving features offered on the apartments, such as insulation, programmable therostats, energy-efficient windows, etc. Sure, your entire housing decision is about more than energy bills, but it is something you should consider.
Once you have settled on the apartment complex you will be calling home, get only the amount of space you will need. Remember, it costs more to heat and cool 1,200 square feet than it does to heat and cool only 450 square feet. Also consider the layout of the unit. Because hot air rises, heating a cooling a flat is much more energy-efficient than heating and cooling a townhouse.
Finally, it's time to pick the unit that will be yours. Depending on the climate in your area, consider shade trees that might help cool the apartment in the summer, or a unit that doesn't have a lot of windows facing the cold north winds. These factors can play a significant role in your heating and cooling costs.
Ways to Save On Heating a Cooling an Apartment
Did you know that the biggest part of your energy bill is spent on heating and cooling your home? With that in mind, here are some great ways that apartment dwellers can save on heating a cooling costs.
- Get the right window covering - Put up curtains that can help you keep warm air in and cold air out. Looks for curtains with a white exterior lining that will help reflect heat in the summer months.
- Program you thermostat - If your unit has a programmable thermostat, by all means program it, even if it means calling the maintenance staff to help you. If you don't have a programmable thermostat, that's okay. You can still adjust your temperature when you leave in the mornings and then again when you return home. The money you save will make this small step worth every penny.
- Dress appropriately - Consider keeping your apartment just a little warmer in the summer and just a little cooler in the winter. Even a few degrees can make a big difference in your bill. So, toss on a sweater and some warm socks this winter and save your money for something fun, like maybe some hot cocoa.
- Let nature cool your home - If you live in a safe area, consider opening your windows to let fresh air in on a nice day, rather than running your air conditioner. Even doing this for a couple of weeks each fall and spring can help lower your energy bills.
Energy-Saving Power Strips
Little Changes Can Add Up
While the heating and air conditioning is the biggest part of your energy bill, all the other little things you do also add up. Here are ways to reduce your energy use beyond heating a cooling.
- Use natural light - Open the curtains or blinds to allow in natural light during the day. Use the sun as your lighting source rather than burning electricity.
- Beware of phantom power - Did you know that a lot of the appliances in your apartment still draw power even when you aren't using them? This includes your TV, all your chargers, and your digital appliances. Unplug appliances and chargers when you are not using them and consider a power strip that allows you to turn off everything connected to it at once.
- Install CFLs - compact fluorescent light bulbs can really help reduce your energy use, so consider installing CFLs rather than traditional incandescent light bulbs.
- Think before using energy - Look for ways to avoid using electricity altogether, such as air drying your hair, hanging laundry to dry, or making sun tea. Once you start making a conscious effort to reduce your energy use, you will find lots of ways to save energy and money.
Saving Energy Means Saving Money
All of these energy savings tips ultimately mean more money in your pocket. While these tips were written for apartment dwellers, most can be applied in other situations as well. if you are still looking for ways to save, check out this article on ways to save on electricity or ways to reduce your carbon footprint. What other suggestions do you have for apartment dwellers to save energy and money?
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