Whether you’re a renter or a homeowner, here is a list of things you can do to reduce your utility bill by as much as 30 percent per month.
As a renter, you can’t control the insulation in your home, but you can still take action to lower your bills. It’s possible you’re paying for energy you don’t need.
If you live in apartments in chilly places such as Chicago, Detroit or Portland, your winter utility bills for your apartment are probably high enough to give you the shivers every time you check the mailbox. Whether you’re a renter or a homeowner, here is a list of things you can do to reduce your utility bill by as much as 30 percent per month.
Purchase Thick Curtains
You don’t have to leave thick curtains up all year, but you might want to have some for just the winter, though they would help keep your house cool in the summer as well. Most houses and apartment complexes don’t have thick, efficient windows, and thick curtains will protect you against the draft you may feel when you’re near your windows.
Use the Sunlight as Warmth
Open the blinds and curtains during the day to let in the (free!) sunlight, and close them at night. During the day, the sun will come in and warm up your house, and at night you should close them so the heat stays indoors.
Seal Electrical Outlets
On a cold and windy day, wave your hand in front of one of your outdoor-facing electrical sockets. If you feel an icy breeze, your light switches, outlets, phone jacks, volume controls and cable hookups may not be sealed properly. Ask your landlord or maintenance staff to use expanding foam to fill in the holes where the wires run through the outlet boxes, or ask them if you can do it yourself. If they won’t do it themselves or let you do it, at least fill in unused electrical outlets with switch and outlet sealers, available at most major home improvement stores.
Just like the electrical outlets, you’ll need the assistance of your maintenance staff to pull this off. They may just need to caulk along part of the window frame, or they might need to do all of it, depending on how much draft you feel when you wave your hand in front of the window. Or, ask them to check the rubber seals between windows and their frames.
Replace the Air Filter
Or have the maintenance staff replace it, rather. If your home is heated by forced air, have the filter checked, since a clogged filter greatly decreases the efficiency of the heat flowing from the ducts. Most landlords will do it for you, but if not, do it yourself for a few dollars.
Unplug and Turn Off Appliances
Unplug your hair dryer, curler, electric toothbrush and shaver in the bathroom, and turn off all electricity before leaving your apartment for the day. Consider putting your kitchen appliances on an automatic timer. For these changes, the energy savings might be minimal, but every little bit counts.
Lower the Thermostat
You’ve probably heard it a thousand times: Set your thermostat lower to save money on heating costs. So why aren’t you doing it? Set your thermostat to 68 degrees, put an extra blanket on the bed and wear sweatshirts and socks around the house. Make yourself a steaming mug of hot chocolate, cuddle up with someone you love and you’ll be warm in no time.
Published in: Apartment Living