While rent may be a fixed price, your utility bills don’t have to be. If you’ve ever wondered how you can lower the cost of heating, cooling and lighting your home, here are five simple tips to help you out.
1. Use a Power Strip
Just because you’ve unplugged your cell phone charger or bedside lamp doesn’t mean it’s not using up precious electricity. Anything with a standby light that glows, even when it’s off, still draws power. To combat this energy suck, consider plugging electronics into a power strip so you can turn off everything at once using the main switch. Power strips are perfect for smaller appliances and electronics that are close together, like your television, Xbox and Wi-Fi router. Turn them all off using the switch before you go to bed to save money.
2. Reduce Water Waste
The U.S. uses 1.2 trillion gallons of water every year on showering alone. And, the longer you shower, the more you contribute to this number — and your water bill. Consider a low-flow shower head for a straightforward and cheap way to reduce your water use. You may also be using more water than you realize when you wash your dishes, shave and brush your teeth. Turn off the faucet when you aren’t actively rinsing or cleaning something to save water.
Make sure your apartment stays warm in the winter and cool in the summer by insulating. Line your windows and air ducts with weatherstripping and invest in shades, blinds or curtains to cover windows and keep out the cold in the colder months and hot sunlight in the summer. If you experience a relatively sunny day in the winter, however, keep the blinds open to soak in the sun’s heat. Protecting your home from the elements and using the sun to your advantage will help you save on energy costs.
4. Turn off Your Thermostat
Once you have adequately insulated your apartment, you can either lower your thermostat or shut it off completely. Turning down the thermostat only a few degrees can save you quite a bit of money over the winter. For each degree you lower your heat between the 60- and 70-degree range, you can save up to 5% on your heating bill. Shut your heat or air off if you’re sleeping or leaving for an extended period to save even more.
5. Talk to Your Landlord
Last, but not least, talk to your landlord. There’s no harm in asking the building owner to make some upgrades to increase the apartment’s efficiency. These additions will both boost property value and save you some money on bills. Moreover, if they agree to make some changes, it will save you a lot of time and headaches in the future. If they refuse to upgrade anything, you might still be able to modify some things yourself. And, remember to ask your landlord if they’ll reimburse you.
AUTHOR: KACEY BRADLEY
Kacey Bradley is the blogger behind The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Along with writing for her blog, she has written for sites like U.S. News, SUCCESS, Guides for Brides, Hotel Online and more!