Not every apartment, condo or townhouse rental includes free utilities, so for many renters, it is important to use energy efficiently. Reducing energy consumption means saving money, and by adopting a few efficient practices in your apartment, you can keep your money where you want it: your wallet.
This utilities advice will guide you on best practices and other energy-efficient methods aimed at saving you money. Most of these tips are things renters can do on their own. However, if you have questions or need help, don't be afraid to reach out to your apartment manager or landlord.
1) Low-Flow Showerhead
Temper your hot water usage and the amount of water you use by installing an energy-efficient low-flow showerhead in your shower. If you can't install one yourself, talk to your landlord or apartment manager about having one installed.
2) Water Collection
When you run your faucet or shower until cold or hot water comes out, you are essentially wasting a good deal of water and sending money down the drain. Consider using a bucket or pitcher to collect water until the desired hot or cold temperature is achieved. You can then use that collected water to manually flush a toilet, water plants or wash things around the house.
3) Full Loads
Instead of washing a handful of clothing at a time, save energy and money by washing full loads. This can also be applied to using a dishwasher. More loads equates to more energy spent and money out of your pocket.
4) Window Covers and Solar Shades
Keep windows that receive direct sunlight throughout the day covered to keep the inside of your apartment cooler throughout the day. In desert climates such as Arizona, consider having solar shades installed to deflect sunlight.
5) Air Circulation
Open your windows to promote cross-circulation in the mornings and when there is a breeze. This can help keep temperature down throughout the day and, in turn, lower A/C usage.
6) Furniture Obstruction
If your couch is positioned over your air vent, it reduces the amount of air flow, which means your A/C or furnace is working that much harder. By positioning your furniture to promote airflow, your apartment will heat and cool faster, thus saving you money on your electric or gas bill.
7) Thermostat Setting
Consider turning off the thermostat or adjusting it for when you are not home. You can save energy and money by only running you A/C or furnace when you are home.
Leaving the lights on all day long can be a big energy drain. Instead of leaving the lights on, buy timers to program a custom light schedule for throughout the day.
9) Fluorescent Light Bulbs
Compact fluorescent light bulbs use far less energy and last far longer than traditional light bulbs, and they are relatively cheap! Swap out your standard bulbs for fluorescent ones to reduce energy costs.
10) Unplug Appliances and Electronics
Even if they are not on, appliances and electronics still draw electricity when plugged in. Consider unplugging seldom-used appliances and electronics when not in use. You can also buy a power strip to control multiple electronics and appliances at the same time.
For more rental advice, visit realtor.com.
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