How to Make Energy Efficient Upgrades in an Apartment
Apartment dwellers don’t have the luxury of making permanent changes to their living space. From paint colors to window coverings, most options that can improve energy efficiency either need to be vetted by a landlord or immediately reversed upon move out.
Luckily, there are tons of simple, easy upgrades that can cut down your carbon footprint, energy bill, and doesn’t need a major remodel. Green living is possible for everyone!
Embrace eco-awareness and start a green streak in your apartment by implementing a few energy efficient upgrades that can impact both your lifestyle and your financial bottom line.
Choose LED Bulbs
Lights burn out, but you have the option of what bulbs to swap in. To save money in the long run, replace traditional incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs. Not only do LED bulbs emit less heat and energy, but you’ll find that they offer a much longer lifespan. In fact, LEDs are estimated to save about $75 a year on your energy savings!
Change the Air Filter
Do you have an HVAC system installed? Some renters try to use air conditioning less frequently to save money, however you do want to make sure that when you use it–the unit is running as efficiently as possible.
A dirty air filter circulates the air less efficiently. The National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI) advises that filters should be changed monthly if you own pets, smoke in the home, have allergies, use a fireplace or live in an area that was hit by wildfires. The organization notes that apartments or rental homes that are in close proximity to construction also should change filters more frequently.
Pro Tip: Make sure any air conditioning or air purifier system is ENERGY STAR branded, for added efficiency!
Adjust the Thermostat
Making a home too warm or too cool affects energy use. Adjust the thermostat so that the HVAC unit doesn’t need to kick on quite as frequently. Renters also can change the temperature settings on the hot water heat to decrease energy use and save money. Smart thermostats are also a useful tool in apartments to help upgrade your tech and your efficiency!
Use the Dishwasher Sparingly
Sometimes the most frustrating part of apartment living is having no control of what appliances are installed. While you may not be able to replace your dishwasher with a more efficient one, how you use it can make an impact. According to The Christian Science Monitor, the dishwasher costs about $0.63 each time you use it. So don’t run the dishwasher unless it’s completely full. If you have a few dishes that need to be cleaned now, wash them by hand instead.
Replace Shower Head
The cost of a shower is based on both water output and the cost needed to heat the water. Replacing the shower head with a more efficient one is a quick fix and is usually no problem with your landlord. Another alternative to save money is to take shorter showers. The longer you relish those hot drops, the more money you’ll see on your monthly bill. Set a time limit for your shower, and don’t linger in the spray. Turn down the heat, too, so that you’re not pushing your water heater’s output unnecessarily.
Wash Clothes on Cold
ENERGY STAR recommends that renters wash their laundry on cold whenever possible. Washing on hot unnecessarily uses more energy, costs more money and, in the short run, might even shrink your clothes. Unless the cycle is for sheets or undergarments that need the sanitizing element of hot water, opt for cold.
While renters cannot implement permanent changes to their home as a way to help lower their bills and save energy, even small changes can add up in the long run. Almost all renters are required to pay their own utilities, and these costs can easily be controlled by making tiny adjustments and implementing a few lifestyle changes.