It can sometimes be a shock to see a much higher total than you anticipated on a utility bill. Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do as a renter to lower your utility costs in your apartment. The seven tips can help you find ways to save on your upcoming utility bills.
Turn Off the Lights – Sometimes
Leaving lights on when you’re at work all day can increase your utility costs, but what about when you leave the room for 5 or 10 minutes? According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the decision depends on the type of bulb you’re using. The Department recommends turning off less inefficient incandescent lights every time you leave the room. It’s a good idea to turn off halogen lights too.
High-efficiency compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) should only be turned off if you’ll be gone for 15 minutes or longer. In addition to using more energy, turning on and off lights decreases the operational life of CFLs and incandescent and halogen lights. The lifespan of an LED light won’t decrease no matter how often you turn it on or off.
CFL and LED lights use less energy than other types of lights and bulbs. Placing them in all of the light fixtures in your apartment is a simple way to lower your utility bill.
Lower the Water Heater Temperature
You’ll use more electricity if you set your water heater at the highest temperature. Selecting a lower temperature will still deliver water that’s hot enough for showers and laundry but will help you control utility costs. If your water heater is accessible from your apartment, you’ll find the temperature control knob near the bottom of the tank.
Fill It Up
It takes just as much energy to run a half load of dishes or laundry as it does a full load. If you only run the appliances when they’re full, you’ll lower your utility bill.
Dishwashers are more effective using hot water, but that’s not true with washers. Detergent dissolves completely whether you use cold, warm or hot water for your laundry. Although you’ll probably want to use hot water for whites, you’ll save a little money if you turn the dial to cold for other loads. Opting for air dry instead of heat dry on your dishwasher may also help you keep utility costs under control.
Take Advantage of Curtains, Shades and Blinds
Shades, blinds and curtains are often overlooked when renters look for ways to cut utility bills. Opening the window coverings during the winter allows the sun to warm your apartment naturally. When temperatures warm up, close the coverings during the day to keep your place a little cooler.
Decrease Standby Power Usage
Some appliances continue to draw a small amount of power even when they’re not in use. Although standby power from one or two devices or appliances probably won’t increase your utility bill, your costs may rise if you have a large number of power-sucking devices. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that 5 to 10 percent of residential energy use can be attributed to standby power.
Lower your bill by unplugging computers, chargers, microwaves, toasters, printers, shredders, speakers, televisions and other appliances when not in use. If you know you won’t remember to unplug these devices, buy a few smart power strips. The strips automatically turn off appliances when they enter standby mode. Some are even compatible with Amazon’s Alexa.
When you shop for appliances, look for the ENERGY STAR label. ENERGY STAR appliances use less standby power and are more energy-efficient than non-rated appliances.
Use a Smart Thermostat
Smart thermostats can be controlled remotely from your smartphone, tablet or laptop, allowing you to lower the temperature in your apartment when you’re away and raise it just before you return. Some thermostats even learn your habits and automatically make adjustments. Of course, you’ll need to check with your landlord before installing a smart thermostat.
Consider Eliminating Cable and Your Landline
Do you still have cable? Thanks to streaming services, it’s possible to watch many of your favorite shows and movies without cable. Streaming offers increased flexibility and is usually cheaper than cable. Landlines are becoming much less common as more and more people rely on cell phones. If you can’t remember the last time you used your landline, you’ll increase your disposable income by getting rid of the line.
Newer is usually better when it comes to choosing an apartment, particularly when you consider utility costs. The luxury apartments at 745 Hamilton, a Country Classics Community, are brand new as of 2020 and feature efficient washers, dryers, dishwashers and ovens. The one- and two-bedroom apartments are conveniently located in the heart in Somerset, New Jersey. Contact us for information about apartment availability.
U.S. Department of Energy: 3 Easy Tips to Reduce Your Power Load
U.S. Department of Energy: When to Turn Off Your Lights
iMore: Best Smart Power Strips for 2019