Easy Energy Savings Tips for your Apartment

When you think of home energy efficiency, you generally think of things like self-programmable thermostats and specifically designed heating and cooling systems. But what if you’re renting? If you are only renting your apartment, you cannot invest in the types of energy-saving improvements that are becoming increasingly popular among homeowners.

There are numerous advantages to taking steps to reduce energy use in your apartment. It is not only beneficial for the environment, but it also saves you money on utility bills. There are two moving parts to having an effective energy apartment: things you buy to make them more efficient and things you do. Let’s look at some of the most significant adjustments you may make as a tenant.

Inform your Building Manager about any leaky faucets or continually running toilets.

Leaky faucets and a toilet that won’t stop running are not only inconvenient, but they also waste a lot of water. Instead of just letting them do their thing and counting down the days until they’re no longer your concern, notify your Building Manager so that he or she can take care of it.

Reduce the temperature as you sleep.

Turning your thermostat down 7-10 degrees for eight hours a day will save you up to 10% on your heating and cooling bills annually. Turn it down before going to bed, then curl up under the blankets to stay warm while saving money. If you don’t have pets, you can also lower the temperature when you’re not at home.

Be cautious of phantom power.

Phantom power, often known as vampire power, is the energy consumed by your devices when they are plugged in but not in use. Things like your phone charger, power strips, and toaster are all sucking up energy even when you’re not actively using them if you leave them plugged into the wall, so unplug them when you’re not using them to save energy. You may also buy smart power strips, which automatically cut off power to items you’re not using (so you don’t have to unplug your TV every time you leave your apartment, for example).

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Make your outlets draft-proof.

Outlets, like windows, can let in outside draughts that offset your apartment’s heating and cooling efforts. On a cold day, place your palm in front of each outlet and feel for any cold air coming through, or simply observe whether your outlets themselves feel particularly cold. If either of these situations exists, use gaskets—small plastic plugs that go into your outlets—to seal them and keep the air out. Gaskets simply plug in and out, allowing you to remove them when you need to utilize the outlet.

Avoid blocking radiators.

Being more energy efficient sometimes just means not doing things that push your unit to work harder than it needs to. Don’t put furniture in front of the radiators. If air can’t circulate freely—for example, if your couch sits directly in front of a radiator—it has to work more to achieve its goal. By keeping those spaces clear, you make it easier for air to go rapidly and easily.

In the summer, keep your blinds closed.

Allowing sunlight in is still ok, but if that sunlight is bringing lots of hot rays from the sun, it will actively negate the job of your air conditioning machine. Depending on which direction your apartment faces, you may be able to get away with only leaving the blinds down in the morning (if facing east) or afternoon (if facing west). You can even add blackout shades if you truly want to keep the sun out.