Whether you rent an apartment, townhouse or a home, these tips will help you to be more energy efficient and save money. If there are things you can’t change on your own, share these tips and encourage your landlord to make a change for the better.
- Lighting is one of the easiest places to start saving energy. Replacing your five most frequently used light fixtures or the bulbs in them with Energy Star certified LED lights can save more than $65 a year in energy costs.
Turn off the lights when you leave a room. Turning off just one 60-watt incandescent bulb that would otherwise burn eight hours a day can save about $15 a year!
- Considering purchasing a room air conditioner? Buy an Energy Star qualified model. It will use at least 10 per cent less energy than standard models. Be sure the unit fits tightly in the window so outdoor air does not get in.
- Consumer electronics play an increasingly larger role in your home’s energy consumption, accounting for 15 per cent of household electricity use. Many electronics use energy even when switched off. Unplug any battery chargers or power adapters when not in use (like your cell phone charger!). Use a power strip as a central “turn off” point when you are done using equipment. And even when turned off, electronic and IT equipment often use a small amount of electricity. For home office equipment, this stand-by or “phantom” power load can range from a few watts to as much as 20 or even 40 watts for each piece of equipment. Using a power strip for your computer and all peripheral equipment allows you to completely disconnect the power supply from the power source, eliminating standby power consumption.
- A 10-minute shower can use less water than a full bath. With a low-flow shower head, a 10-minute shower will use about 25 gallons of water, saving five gallons of water over a typical bath. A new showerhead will also save energy — up to $145 each year on electricity — beating out both the bath and an old-fashioned showerhead.
- To keep out the heat of the summer sun, close window shades and drapes during the day.
- Run the dishwasher with a full load and use the air-dry option if available.
- Wash your laundry with cold water whenever possible. To save water, try to wash full loads or, if you must wash a partial load, reduce the level of water appropriately. Washing full loads can save you more than 3,400 gallons of water each year.
- Don’t over-dry your clothes. Remember to clean the lint trap before every load. Dry full loads or reduce drying time for partial loads. One of the easiest things to increase drying efficiency is to clean the lint trap before each and every load. This step can also save up to $34 a year.