As a renter, your apartment or house is still your “home.” You proudly welcome family and friends into your space that reflects the time and care you’ve invested. The décor matches your personality to a tee, it’s organized for your family’s lifestyle needs.
Customizing your home for comfort and convenience is certainly important, but you can also create a space that helps you save money and lower your energy use. While your landlord or building manager may have certain rules about upgrades you can make, these simple tips will help you increase your home’s energy efficiency with ease:
- Stop the energy suck. Many homes have “vampires” lurking without their knowledge. No, we don’t mean horror story vampires of old – “energy vampires” are appliances that continue to use power when they’re turned off or are on standby. Stop the flow of power by unplugging electronics when they’re not in use or using a smart strip that shuts down power to idle items.
- Lighting matters. Make the switch from traditional incandescent light bulbs to ENERGY STAR® -certified bulbs to use up to 90% less energy than traditional incandescents. While replacing all the lightbulbs in your home is an initial expense, you can save around $80 in electricity costs over the lifetime of each bulb.
- Take advantage of Mother Nature. In the winter, keep the draperies and blinds on your south-facing windows open during the day to allow the sunlight to warm your home and closed at night to reduce the chill and drafts.
- Programmable thermostats are a smart choice. With permission from your landlord or property manager, equip your home with a programmable thermostat that can increase your home’s energy efficiency while helping you save up to $180 in annual energy costs. As an added bonus, certain programmable thermostats can be controlled by your smartphone, tablet or computer.
- Get the most out of circulation. In the winter, run ceiling fans in the opposite direction going clockwise at the lowest speed to slowly circulate heated air.
- Get rid of drafts. Air leaks not only bring cold air into your space, but the additional heating needed to compensate for these drafts can drive up your heating costs. Seal them up by using inexpensive weather stripping, spray foam, or caulk. You can even use foam gaskets to seal leaky electrical outlets.
- Keep the air flowing. Your home’s design could play a role in your monthly energy costs. Make sure registers or baseboard heaters are not blocked by furniture or rugs, making it harder to heat your home and using more energy and money.
- Remember the basics. Dress appropriately for the weather and on cold winter nights, put an extra blanket on the bed and lower your thermostat another degree or two to save even more.