Apartments have their own idiosyncrasies. Yes, you might not be staying in yours forever. So, it’s easy to minimize what you could do to improve your energy savings.
But save you can. You can benefit in the short-term – without shelling out big bucks.
Here’s some ideas:
- Install a Nest smart thermostat. Nest saves you 20% on your energy bills. If you spend about $1000 annually on electricity, you save $200. The cheaper Nest, which’ll do you just fine, only costs $169. Make sure to calculate the precise savings based on your own costs. Even better, if you’re a good tenant, ask your landlord to buy one for you and install it. They might be willing to do so if you ask.
- Replace any incandescent lights with CFLs. Upgrading from CFLs to LEDs costs a bit up-front. It could take years to get your money back. But you can certainly save fast by upgrading to affordable CFLs. CFLs cut your lights’ energy use by an awesome 70%. You can find LEDs on special promotions that cost $2.50 or less, but that’s a hard find.
- If you have baseboard or portable heaters, wear heavier clothing to increase your comfort and keep your energy costs down.
- Stay conscious of your curtains and blinds and keep them closed so they block out the sunlight, which prevents your apartment from warming up and forcing your AC on as frequently.
- Consider a smart power strip that automatically turns off plugged in devices when not in use. Otherwise, they eat up energy, which is called “vampire energy use.”
- Use smaller appliances where possible. Using your microwave instead of your oven saves energy.
- You only need to keep your fridge at 36-42 degrees and your freezer at 0. Keeping both any cooler uses energy.
- If you’re a good tenant who pays on time and doesn’t trash your apartment, landlords are open to negotiations. Ask them for an energy-efficient fridge, microwave, or other appliance.
- Keep air registers clear of furniture. That allows the air to circulate around your apartment and helps you stay comfortable.
- Scrape, rather than pre-rinse, your dishes if you have a dishwasher. Pre-rinsing uses a lot of water and energy. And most dishwashers can clean dishes which have only been scraped.
- Pack your freezer tightly because the more you pack in, the more it keeps the space cold. You’re even able to benefit by using bags of water to fill any free space.
So yes, you have some unique ways to save energy if you’re a renter. And hopefully, it won’t be that long until you have a home!