Renters can save money on their utility bills, too. Here's how.
Renting an apartment certainly has its perks. Unlike when you own a home, when something breaks you can simply call maintenance or your landlord and have the issue rectified. When you rent you don’t have to worry about paying property taxes. Nor, in general, do you have to be considered with things like grounds keeping, trash or snow removal. While there are certainly clear advantages to renting versus owning your place of residence, there are also detractors. Renters are pretty limited in terms of what they can do with the property where they reside. Renters can’t change their appliances, redo the kitchen, and they may not even be able to paint the walls. Also, the lack of malleability when you rent can have a direct impact on how much you’re paying out every month, especially in terms of utility bills.
Since renters, unlike homeowners, are virtually stuck with the way things are inside their domicile it can make it more difficult to cut costs on utility bills in comparison to how easily a homeowner can. For instance, a homeowner can choose to outfit their home with entirely energy-efficient appliances in order to drive utility costs down. Whereas a renter is not at the liberty to do such a thing. Alas, all hope is not lost for renters wanting to save some extra money on their energy costs. There are strategies that renters can leverage in order to reduce the amount they are paying for things like electric and water use. Read on to discover just how you can employ these strategies to work for you.
ENERGY STAR ALL THE WAY
One of the simplest things that you can do as a renter to start immediately bringing down your electric bill is to simply switch the kind of lightbulbs that you have lighting your home. Check each light fixture to determine if the bulb inside is Energy Star certified. Opting to use Energy Star graded lightbulbs over ones that aren’t can save you a lot of money in the long run. Energy Star approximates that for every one Energy Star bulb you have in your home you’ll save a total of $55 on your Utility bill over the duration of that bulb’s life.
In addition to switching over to energy-efficient lighting, it’s also a good idea to leverage daylight whenever possible. Aside from helping you to save money on your utility bill, this is just a good idea in general. There are numerous health benefits associated with using natural light over artificial light. For instance, natural light has been proven to boost Vitamin D levels in the body as well as help to combat the effects of depression. Hence, by employing this strategy you’re really killing two birds with one stone.
DUST AND UNPLUG
Dusting your home and unplugging devices that are not currently in use are both great ways for renters to save money on their utility bills. Giving your domicile a good thorough dusting on a regular basis, as well as checking to make sure any vents or filters inside your home are free from debris can help to alleviate the stress that you put on your HVAC system. If your HVAC doesn’t have to work as hard to filter, cool, or heat the air inside your dwelling then it will, in turn, use far less energy. Using less energy equates to you having a cheaper electric bill overall.
Unplugging any devices that aren’t in use is an exceedingly easy way for renters to save on energy costs, too. Consider what you may have plugged in right now that you aren’t using. A coffee pot? Toaster? Desktop computer? Sound system? Go through your house and simply disconnect what is silently siphoning energy and costing you more money than need be. Just by doing this one simple thing you’ll likely see a difference in your monthly utility bill.
SHOWER FOR SHORTER
We aren’t suggesting as a hard and fast rule that you deprive yourself of a good long shower once and again. However, for the most part, shortening the time you spend in the shower can help to reduce the number of gallons of water you utilize in a day. For instance, perhaps instead of brushing your teeth in the shower, you could do so beforehand? Just that quick two minutes could save multitudes of water from being wasted.
Also, as a renter, one of the few things that you can change in your apartment ( apart from the lightbulbs, that is) is your showerhead. Consider investing in a water-saving showerhead to reduce the amount of water being expelled each time you bathe. A high-quality one will have adjustable settings for those times when you do want to increase the water pressure.
COLD IS COST-EFFECTIVE
If you are lucky enough to have a washer and dryer in your apartment, congratulations! There is nothing that beats the convenience of being able to wash any and all of your dirty laundry on a whim instead of having to lug it to a laundry mat. Trust us, just ask anyone living in a New York City apartment. That being said, though, washing machines are big water and electric consumers. To reduce the amount of water you are using per wash, ensure you are adjusting the load setting to the size load that you are washing.
Additionally, the best way to reduce the amount of electricity your machine is draining is to simply opt to use cold water over hot water with every load. In fact, Consumer Reports detailed that just that one quick change can help reduce a washing machine’s energy consumption by an impressive 90%.
In some ways, renters have their hands tied behind their backs in terms of how much they can do to save money on utility bills. However, the small adjustments highlighted above are examples of what renters can do to cut costs. Overall, little fixes can go a long way. If you are a renter, give them a try and watch your monthly utility bills begin to drop.