A penny saved is a penny earned, and small steps that you take to improve the energy efficiency of your apartment can contribute significantly to your savings. If you’re living in a city where utility costs are high; for example, Dallas, then such savings can add up to an impressive amount. Moreover, you’re doing your bit for a greener earth. Every little bit counts.
Here are eleven easily done things that you can do to bring down the cost of electricity in your apartment.
- Shut off lights you’re not using – This is basic due diligence, which when exercised, contributes handsomely to energy costs savings. If you don’t have this habit, then try consciously to incorporate it into your lifestyle. On similar lines, unplug appliances you are not using.
- Use the refrigerator intelligently – Don’t use the fridge for storing stuff that will remain unspoiled outside. It will bring down the cooling requirements and help control costs. Asparagus, arugula, basil, shelled beans, beets, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, eggplant, garlic, leeks, and many other perishable items can easily be kept outside.
- Use a low-flow showerhead. Or better still, bathe the old-fashioned way with a bucket and a mug. You’ll save many gallons of water and also save on the cost of heating water.
- Use insulation for the windows. You could invest in double-paned windows. Over time, you’ll recover their costs with the savings you accrue on the heating bills. Or, you could use foam weather stripping for doors and windows. They are cheap and with admirable insulation properties.
- During winter, use exhaust fans only when you really need them. The exhaust pulls the warm air and directs it outside the apartment.
- At night, use warm bedding and cozy comforters. You can reduce the thermostat setting by as many as 15 degrees in the night. This single step can save you up 10% of your annual heating costs. Similarly, wearing sweaters and placing a rug on the floor will assist you staying warm and reduce the load on the installed electric heaters.
- Seek out the air leaks and plug them. Places to look for include chimneys, recessed lighting in ceiling, and utility cut-throughs in the wall.
- Keep the fireplace damper closed when you’re not using the fireplace. Keeping it open allows the warm air to escape from the chimney.
- A one-time investment in LED bulbs, which can last for up to two decades, will yield impressive savings in energy. A 40-watt LED bulb consumes only 6 watts of power, which is more than 80% less than what a regular bulb sucks.
- Check out with your utility company if it is offering any rebates. Check if you can avail any energy audits at discounted prices. At any rate, you should be able to find very useful energy saving tips on such a portal. Does the power company charge more for peak hour usage? Regulate your use during these times and save.
- There are sundry small things that you can do. Shade your window-mounted AC to keep it cool. Arrange furniture such that vents are not blocked. Use area rugs in winter and remove them in summer. Fabric curtains do a better job at regulating internal temperatures as compared to shades and blinds. Use “task lights” instead of lighting up the whole room for work.
Take control of the “electrifying” utility costs before they shock you. When an unexpectedly warm summer or a startlingly cold winter arrives, you’ll thank your forethought for having a system in place for keeping the electricity costs under check.