After you have searched apartment ratings and found a place to live that fits your needs and stays within your budget, the next thing you need to think about is your utility bill. Many renters mistakenly believe that there is not much you can do to lower your utility bills when living in an apartment. You have your electric bill, heating bill in the winter, air conditioning in the summer, water, phone, and cable. Just keep the thermostat low in the winter, high in the summer (ideally with a programmable thermostat), and turn the lights off when you’re leaving a room, right? These are the basics, but there are other more creative ways to see monthly savings on your utilities.
Here are five tips that can help save you a significant amount on your monthly utilities:
Don’t Let Your Utility Money Fly out the Window
Proper window management is critical for keeping your energy bill lower in both the winter and the summer. In the summer, keep your windows covered, especially during the heat of the day and particularly on windows facing directly south. Your east and west windows will also pick up sunlight during parts of the day, so keep them covered when necessary as well. In the winter, keep your window coverings open so the sunlight will provide some free heat. You may also want to invest in plastic window coverings for the winter to keep cool air from coming in.
Slow Your Cold Water Flow
Many people are accustomed to running the shower for several minutes until it is hot enough to jump in. However, this can cost you thousands of gallons of water per year. A showerhead adapter with ShowerStart technology is an easy fix. It keeps the water flow down to a trickle until it is hot enough for your liking. Once you are ready, just pull the cord and the water comes back to full speed.
Squeeze Some Green out of your Light Bulbs
However much you choose to participate in the ‘green’ movement, there are many areas where doing so can save you a lot of money, and light bulbs is definitely one of them. The most energy-efficient light bulbs on the market today are LED bulbs. These bulbs use up to 85% less power than a standard light bulb, so if you are planning to be in your place for at least the next year or two, they are well worth the investment.
When you have an appliance such as a blender or microwave or an electronic device such as a TV plugged in but not in use, it is still sucking up electricity. That’s why this form of energy waste is affectionately known as vampire energy. There is never a need to pay for electricity you are not using, and this problem is quickly solved with smart power strips you can easily flip on and off. You should have these strips anyway to protect your valuable electronics from storm surges, so this $40 investment will kill two birds with one stone.
Cut the Cord from your Cable Company
Cable and satellite TV are becoming increasingly expensive, especially for something that is not really necessary to function in your day to day life. But many people still need to have some TV to watch, and there is a way to do it very cheap; buy an Internet streaming box. Streaming boxes are available now from Apple, Google, Amazon, Samsung, Roku, and probably others we are not aware of. One time investments range from $35 to $150. But once you have one, you can stream thousands of TV shows and movies on demand through Netflix, Hulu Plus, and numerous other cheap and free sources and say goodbye to your $60 to $100 a month cable bill.