Many of us made New Year’s resolutions last month to put more money in the bank every month, and if you’re still not saving as much as you’d like, it’s a good idea to take a look at your utility usage. Winter, after all, can be your most expensive season when it comes to utilities. Do you live in a rental where the cost of utilities varies from month to month? Here is a look at some simple ways you can save on utilities in your rental.
Adjusting your thermostat by even one degree can make a major difference on your utilities. Consider programming it to be slightly warmer or cooler when you’re home, depending on the season, and set it to turn off heating and cooling when you’re not home.
Many people leave kitchen appliances, lamps, TVs, phone chargers, etc. plugged into their outlets, even when they’re not using these devices the majority of the time. Experts estimate, however, that standby power makes up as much as 10 percent of electricity cost. Unplug your electronics when you’re not using them to save on electric. To make things easy here, simply plug your electronics into a power strip that you can switch on and off.
Installing energy efficient light bulbs is an easy thing you can do as a renter to save on energy costs. As an added bonus, your light bulbs will last longer!
You can lower your washer’s energy use by up to 90 percent by switching from hot water to cold water for the wash cycle. Skip the hot water for most of your laundry cycles—you probably don’t need it anyway.
Did you know that drying clothes in a dryer can eat up as much as 6 percent of your electricity bill every month? Dry your clothes on a clothesline or drying rack instead—inside or outside. As an added bonus, your clothes will retain their laundry detergent smell better!
Laundry and dishes? Run full loads only. Washing clothes or dishes when the machine is half full is simply a waste of resources.
To keep hot temperatures out during the summer months, install reflective window treatments and keep them lowered during the day. You’ll reduce the amount of heat entering your home by as much as 40 percent. Just be sure that it’s a temporary, rental-friendly install!
On an alternative note, sunlight can also be your friend here. Open your window treatments during the winter months to let in as much heat as possible, and open your windows to let in natural light at those times when you’re considering flipping the light switch on.