Whether you’re a warrior for the environment or simply wanting to save on your utility bills, you can hit two birds with one stone by making your rented unit or home energy-efficient. This is good advice not just for first-time apartment renters but for everyone who cares for our planet and their finances.
What does it mean to become energy-efficient? According to the Washington D.C.-based Environmental and Energy Study Institute, energy efficiency is all about “using less energy to perform the same task.”
At home, there are a number of amenities and fixtures that can be upgraded to maximize energy efficiency and to make it smarter and greener. In fact, this endeavor should be a key component of every rental property management guide.
The following are essential tips for optimal energy efficiency in your rented abode:
Choose lighting and appliances that are energy star-certified
When looking for lighting fixtures meant to illuminate a large swath of your living space, choose those with an energy star certification. This assures that the product has passed government standards for energy efficiency and quality. In fact, replacing your standard incandescent light bulbs with these lights can slice off more than $65 from your electricity bills.
A vast number of products that are out in the market today have this energy star certification. Some may not even be electrically powered to be energy-efficient. For the first-time apartment renter, here’s a tip on some of these products that are commonly used at home:
- Air conditioners
- Smart thermostats
- Washing machines
- Residential windows, doors, and skylights
- Audio/video products
- Roofing materials
Know the best way to keep your indoor climate in
Most homes these days have indoor cooling and heating systems that make life more comfortable especially when temperatures outside go to extremes. However, there’s more to consider than simply choosing the products with the high energy star rating or the most high-tech ones in the market today.
If your home isn’t sealed well enough, the tendency is for the air generated by these products to leak. This results in poor air quality indoors even if your appliance is at full blast. The appliance itself also suffers from overwork and may bog down sooner than expected. And since your heater or A/C works doubly hard, your bill could shoot up by as much as 20%. An A/C unit cover can help but more than that, you have to make sure that any air ducts at home are sealed shut. Have this professionally done so that no opening is left unsealed, but with the permission of your landlord.
Conservation hacks for the bathroom
The bathroom can be a potential venue for wasting both water and electricity, especially since many of these have heating and cooling mechanisms for the kind of bath you choose. Here are ways to conserve water and energy in one of the most-visited areas of the home:
Showers with a low-flow showerhead consume less water than a full bath. Use these more often to clean yourself than a tub filled with water and use only 2.5 gallons of water per minute.
For moisture problems, turn your ventilating fan on for 15 minutes before or after you shower to control humidity.
Displace water in your toilet tank with a clean plastic bottle filled with gravel. This way, your loo will still flush normally but with less water wasted.
Change your food disposal and dishwashing habits
Scrape leftover food from your dishes and set these aside before putting the dishes into the dishwasher. Build a small compost box in your sink closet where you can put these food scraps in.
Don’t overload your dishwasher just to save on time washing the dishes. You’ll be wasting more water and electricity instead. Use the air-dry option for drying your dishes instead of heating these for even better energy conservation.
The compost from your food scraps makes for great soil to grow fruits and vegetables so that you won’t have to buy these at your local grocery or market. Start with easy-to-grow vegetables and fruits like tomatoes, zucchini, and squash.
Investing in energy-efficient appliances and items makes sense in the long run in the move to keep down the utility bills and care for the environment. The same goes for acquiring new habits that bat for energy conservation in your apartment or rented home. So, if you need more smart tips on the best kind of maintenance for your rental, get in touch with our team at Sundance Property Management today.