Just because you don’t own your home doesn’t mean that you can’t control your energy costs. Every little bit helps; some may not apply, but everyone can find one or two options. Here are some quick money and energy saving ideas:
- Use power strips. Even though they are turned off, many electronics still draw power. Turning off a power strip with a television, dvd player, and multiple video game consoles when not in use can save up to $20 a month just by itself. Consider also using power strips for various electronics chargers (phone, camera, etc.) as well, and turn them off when you’re not charging.
- Check your water heater settings. Turning the temperature to the lowest comfortable setting can help save money when heating water.
- Replace your air conditioner and/or furnace filters every 3 months. This ensures that the unit is receiving clean air (and so are you!) and improves their efficiency.
- Use ceiling fans instead of your air conditioner. If you have them, fans cost just pennies to run compared to air conditioners (both central and wall/window units). If your home doesn’t have good natural air flow, putting box fans in your windows (facing into the room) in the evenings can help draw cool air in from the outside to cool the room.
- Use energy efficient bulbs. They have improved drastically over the last few years, no longer requiring 5-10 minutes to come to full brightness. Some types even will operate in dimmable fixtures without flickering.
- Use blinds to help control the temperature of your home. During the hot summer months, keep blinds closed during the day to keep your home cooler. Do the opposite during the winter – open your blinds to allow the sun to warm it up. Using heavy curtains over your blinds will help keep the warm air in as well. If you have a room or two with bright West or South sun in the afternoon, consider investing in curtains with a thermal backing to help keep everything cooler.
- If you find that you have a draft coming in under your doors, use door snakes or rolled up towels to keep the air from coming in. Another, more permanent, option is installing weatherstripping around the door.
- Clean your refrigerator. Cleaning the coils on the back of your refrigerator every so often keeps the appliance running optimally. (How to)
What have you implemented in your rented apartment or home to help conserve energy?