If you think of energy efficiency at your home, you might think of features such as self programmable thermostats, and specially optimized heating or cooling systems. But what if you rent an apartment? Even though you cannot invest in the kinds of energy-saving innovations that are so popular among homeowners, it doesn’t mean energy efficient apartments are totally out of reach.
1. High Apartment Energy Bills
There are four main causes of a high electricity bill in an apartment:
Age and Condition of Major Appliances
If the apartment you live in has been around for a while, you may be reliant on older appliances that are less efficient. Refrigerators are the largest energy eaters of all appliances. Older refrigerators use more electricity than newer models. This is because it can’t maintain a cool temperature with the malfunctioning compressor, a tired motor and leaky seals.
Central Air And Heat
Heating and cooling account for almost half of an average Texas home’s energy consumption. Proper insulation of the apartment, ducts, and preventing any leaks in your system will reduce the household’s energy consumption. However, some units should be replaced immediately if they are over 12 years old.
It is more expensive to have your central air system running with dirty filters. Air flow is reduced when your air filters are dirty. This reduces the efficiency of your system, which means that it causes your apartment to heat and cool slower, making it work harder and for longer duration.
Poor Insulation and Air-Sealing
One of the most important aspects of your apartment is making sure the air is properly flowing. Infiltration or excess air loss can make your home or apartment uncomfortable and increase your utility bills. Excessive air leakage or infiltration from outside can lead to significant energy and financial losses. Many tenants are not aware that there is an air leakage problem.
Utility Rate Increases
It is possible that your utility company raised its rates if you notice an abrupt increase in your electric bills. Compare rates from previous bills with your current bill.
2. Tips To Lower Your Apartment Energy Bill
So you are settling in your new apartment, that means you’ll be paying your own electricity bills. Although there is no need to panic, energy habits can impact your monthly bill. Although everyone’s energy habits may be different, here are some common ways that you can save energy.
Do energy comparison and use Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs
Incandescent bulbs may have been left behind by the previous tenant when you moved in. These bulbs should be replaced with energy-saving bulbs as soon as possible. Incandescent bulbs may be cheaper than energy efficient bulbs, but they have a shorter lifespan and are more expensive to use. CFLs use less electricity and can be replaced with the lights you use most. CFLs last much longer, and LED bulbs even longer than that.
The other way to lower your energy bill is to shop and analyze energy rates and providers – if you live in a deregulated state you have the power to choose a provider that is best for your needs. This will save a significant amount of money on your monthly utility bill.
Replace The Air Filters Every Three Months
Dirty filters can make your heat and air conditioner work harder to circulate the air. A dirty filter can increase the cost of heating and cooling your home. Air filters can be made from different materials and in different sizes. These factors affect their MERV, which is rated 1-13. For large particulates, you can use inexpensive cardboard or spun fiberglass filters (MERV 1-3) to clean them. Although they will be more expensive (MERV 5-7) are better and can reduce the risk of illness and allergies.
Adjust Your Water Heater
Water heaters are simply large tanks that keep water at a certain temperature, regardless of whether you use it or not. Although not all apartments have a water heater, it is possible that your water heater may be heating water even though no one is home. You can reduce the temperature of your water heater during the day, then heat it up at night to keep the water warm. A water heater jacket, which is inexpensive and can be used to reduce heating costs depending on the location of your water, could also help.
Use Smart Power Strips
Smart power strip turns off completely after a certain period. This means that any devices connected to them (TVs, routers, game consoles, as well as other items that use standby power) will be turned off after a set period.
3. Renter-Friendly Upgrades That Can Lower Your Energy Bill
It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to get rid of your refrigerator or turn off your air conditioner in order to lower your electric bills. It’s possible to live a normal, comfortable lifestyle while still saving money every month.
Replace The Mechanical Thermostat
Programmable thermostats like Nest will increase the efficiency of your HVAC system and help you to lower your heating and cooling costs by setting the temperature while you’re asleep and when you’re away from work. Smart thermostats allow you to adjust the temperature settings and see which ones work best in your apartment. Some lease agreements allow you to install your thermostat as long as the old one is returned when you move out.
Purchase A New Shower Head
A shower-head adapter is a better option than wasting water waiting for the water temperature to rise before you can get in the shower. You can save money by installing the adapter to your shower-head. The adapter reduces the water flow until you are ready to use the shower.
Fix Your Water Heater
Most water heaters are intended to maintain water at a certain temperature at all times. Your water heater could be heating water even though you are not present. Reduce your heating expenses by turning down the water heater temperature when you’re not at your apartment, and then turning it up overnight
There’s really no need to fear your energy bills when you get your apartment. This should be a new and exciting time in your life! It is possible to reduce your energy consumption while increasing the efficiency of your apartment. By following the above techniques and making a few small changes, you can reduce your apartment’s electric bill significantly.