Apartment Living BlogApartment Living › 8 Ways to Save on Your Power Bill This Winter

Summer isn’t the only time power bills spike. Between holiday lights and furnace expenses, the dead of winter can be just as expensive. As a renter, however, you don’t want to break the bank making energy-efficient updates to an apartment you don’t own.

The good news is you don’t have to be stuck with an unbearably high bill. Reduce your energy usage and save a little money by following these eight smart and inexpensive strategies.

1. Lower your water heater temperature.
There’s nothing nicer in winter than a hot, steamy bath, but heating up that water can account for nearly 17% of your home’s energy use. Water heaters are often set to 140 degrees Fahrenheit—a standard manufacturer setting—which is much hotter than needed. Change your water heater thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, and you can enjoy your shower and save money, too.

2. Turn down the heat.
It’s easy to leave the thermostat running constantly to keep your apartment cozy, but each degree means more money spent on energy. To lower that bill, try using the heater only in occupied rooms by closing the vents in all other rooms when you’re at home. And when you go to sleep or leave the house for work, set the thermostat to a lower temperature. Turning your heater down seven to ten degrees Fahrenheit for just eight hours per day can save you 10% on heating annually.

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3. Bundle up.
Rather than turn up the heat when you get cold, use sweaters, blankets, and floor coverings to avoid feeling the effects of a cool home. Keep quilts or throws in every room so you always have one on hand, and remember to use them instead of your thermostat. If you have wood or tile flooring, an area rug can do wonders for holding heat. And on especially chilly nights, pull out a set of flannel sheets, a heavy comforter, and thick pajamas.

4. Reduce your energy use during peak hours.
You may be able to save money by switching up when you run energy-intensive appliances. Many power companies offer Time of Use plans—packages with different price levels based on when electricity is used. If you’re on one of those plans, it’s often more expensive to run a vacuum or do a load of laundry during peak hours of energy usage. Wait until off-peak hours to run your electric space heater, and you could see substantial savings.

5. Use ceiling fans.
When you’re cold, a fan may not be the first solution you think of. However, switching your fan blades’ rotation to clockwise can actually boost the airflow of heat and warm up the room. This trick works because heat rises, and when the blades rotate clockwise, the warm air near the ceiling gets pushed down throughout the room.

Most ceiling fans have a switch on the motor housing that makes it easy to change the direction of the blades’ movement. You’ll know it’s correctly set when you don’t feel any wind blowing on you.

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6. Use LED holiday lights.
When it comes time to decorate for the many winter holidays, use LED lights instead of incandescent lighting. In comparison to incandescent bulbs, LEDs last twenty-five times longer, use 75% less electricity, and are more resistant to breakage. With this simple switch, you’ll cut down on bulb burn-outs and your monthly power bill.

7. Be a vampire energy hunter.
“Vampire appliances”—electronic devices that enter standby mode and use electricity even when turned off—can account for nearly 10% of a household’s energy bill. Unplug these vampire appliances when they aren’t in use to save big on your power bill. Some of the biggest energy-sucking perpetrators include televisions, DVD players, computers, gaming consoles, cable boxes, cell phone chargers, laser printers, and kitchen appliances.

 

 

8. Eliminate drafts and leaks.
Drafty windows and leaky doors let the cold outdoor air into your home, so conduct a winter audit on your apartment to seal those cracks. You can use insulating film or curtains to cover drafty windows, while weather stripping or caulk is great for sealing air leaks around doors and fireplaces. For a quick DIY trick, make a draft snake using a long stocking or a rolled towel.

Following these quick tips will help you save significantly on your power bill throughout the winter months. If you’ve tried these suggestions and are still seeing high bills, consider speaking with your property manager about inexpensive upgrades that may help the unit run more efficiently or consider these 6 tips. With all your saved money, you can start the New Year on the right financial foot—or have a bigger budget for holiday gifts!

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About :

Jonathan is a relocation specialist who writes about all things moving, packing, and unpacking. Along with contributing to ForRent, he writes for iMove.com and Movearoo.com.

COMMENTS

Comments

  1. Great tips. The only change I would make is to the water heater. Most (if not all) renters living in apartments cannot manipulate their water heaters. Only maintenance can do that.

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