If you have ever sat down to calculate where your pay goes, you will be aware of the fact that electric bills take up most of what you earn. Do not worry though, you are not the only one who has to pay a huge chunk of their earnings in the form of electricity bills.
What you should worry about, however, is how to save up in this aspect. It is not a rare occurrence when your electricity bill ends up being higher than you anticipated. This single utility bill can easily mess up your entire budget.
There are a lot of ways how to save money while living in an apartment to stay within budget, but we will focus on only one today: minimizing your electric bills.
You must pay attention to your usage of electricity not only to save money, but also to adopt eco-friendly lifestyle options for the betterment of the Earth.
How to Lower Your Electric Bill in an Apartment
It sounds easy if you think about it. Figure out where the energy consumption is the highest, eradicate this usage, and just feel glad that you have solved the issue. With that said, it isn’t this simple.
The majority of your electric bill comes from the heating and cooling system, but these systems are a must-have. In fact, it is what is considered a maintenance emergency in an apartment if your air conditioning isn’t working in the summers or heaters are out of order in the winters.
You cannot survive or live a comfortable life without these basics. Basically, you don’t have a way around it. So, the best way to live a comfortable life without overspending on your electric bill is to save money in other ways.
Do not be confused, we’ve got you covered. Here are some tips on how you can benefit from all the luxuries of life without going broke!
Switch to Energy–Efficient Light Bulbs
The light bulbs installed in your apartment when you move in are most likely incandescent bulbs, but double-check with your landlord to confirm this. If this is so, the first step you need to take is to replace them.
There are two options for energy-efficient bulbs, which are compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) and LED bulbs. Both are more expensive than an incandescent bulb, but think of it as an investment. The reason is that energy-saving bulbs alone will help keep utility bills low in an apartment by reducing your them by 5%. Also, these new bulbs, especially the LED light bulbs, can last for up to 10 years.
You don’t have to replace all the lights at once if you don’t have the budget, but do start with replacing the ones that you use the most. Also, CFLs are a lot brighter than incandescent bulbs, so you will need fewer new CFLs and LEDs as a replacement.
Do not worry about leaving behind this expensive investment when you move-out of an apartment, because you can take the bulbs with you. Keep the incandescent bulbs safe and reinstall them when you’re moving out so that you can take the energy-efficient options with you to your new place.
Install Smart Power Strips
Saving money means spending money on the right things that will help you minimize energy consumption, and one of these things is smart power strips. They help you regulate your consumption of energy based on how often you used a device.
For example, you know at night that you won’t be using your:
● Living room lamps
● Game console
So, you can plug all of these devices in the same power strip that will shut down after a set time. This will help you save any energy that these devices might otherwise consume while on stand-by. Similarly, you can time another smart power strip to turn off your kitchen appliances when you don’t need them.
Use Alternatives When Possible
What better way to reduce your electric bill than to actually cut off your electricity consumption?
Just because you’ve now got energy-saving bulbs in your apartment does not mean you can keep them on 24/7. You should still continue to regulate your consumption to save up as much money as possible.
Similarly, know of ways to keep your apartment cool in the summer in an effort to minimize the usage of air conditioning units and implement tips on how to save energy in an apartment during the winters too.
The following tips are some easy ways to save energy:
Keep the Windows Clean during Winter
Though the winter sun is not as strong, it is still pretty useful to keep your house warm and well-lit. To allow maximum sunlight inside, keep your windows clean. If there is frost, fog, or snow, clean it regularly. Let in as much light as possible.
However, as soon as the natural light starts to fade, draw the curtains. This will keep the evening cold from directly getting inside your apartment. If you don’t do so, you will have to use extra heating to warm up your living space. This way, you will defeat the entire purpose of utilizing the sunlight.
Use Curtains and Window Shades in the Summers
Shift your energy habits around in the summer. Keep the sunlight as shaded as possible because you don’t want your apartment to heat up at all. Other than your usual curtains, add extra shades on your windows, if possible.
To further block the sun, add plants near your windows. If you have a wide enough window sill, put planters all over for extra shade.
Seal Window and Door Leaks
As strong and efficient as HVAC systems are, they will drain your bank account with the monthly energy bill you will have to pay. Of course, you cannot get rid of the HVAC system completely, but you can take steps to save energy from getting wasted.
Whether you want to keep in cold or hot air, it’s best that you seal any spaces in your windows and doors. The temperature inside your apartment will be easier to maintain if there is no interruption from the outdoors.
You should first talk to your landlord to get any broken windows or doors replaced. Besides, you can opt for door draft guards or search for easy DIY solutions to help you block the small space under the doors and keep the cold and hot air from escaping.
Replace and Clean Air Filters
If your power bill was unexpectedly higher, a dirty air filter may be to blame. Your air conditioner and heating system will not work as seamlessly if there is a bad air filter. Therefore, you will have to run the appliance longer to reach your preferred temperature, which will most likely raise your energy bill.
On the other hand, if you clean the air filter regularly and replace it every three months, you will end up saving energy.
Update and Clean Your Appliances
Old appliances are another reason why your electricity bills might be going up. A fridge with a dirty coil will need more electricity to maintain the required temperature. Similarly, you can now easily get your hands on air conditioning systems that use less energy.
Clean your electrical appliances every few months. Schedule a free energy audit to figure out which appliances are causing a rise in your utility bills. Lastly, stay updated with the latest technology for an environment-friendly and energy-efficient experience.
Turn Off the Appliances that are Not Being Used
This might sound like a very obvious tip, but you probably don’t fully implement it. Any appliance or electric tool that is not in use should be turned off.
Turn off the lights and fans of the rooms that are not being used. In fact, keep all the lights off when you can make use of the natural light.
When you are heading out or going to sleep, turn off your coffee machine, TV, hairdryer, air conditioner, chargers, and all other appliances that will use energy on stand-by.
Of course, appliances like refrigerators cannot be turned off. However, you can switch off the water heater when leaving your apartment or during the night. Turn it on when you get back or in the morning – a little while before you need hot water.
Another way to cut energy costs is to live in an appropriately sized apartment. Calculate how much square footage you need for an apartment. This way, you won’t be wasting rent on extra space, or electric bills to keep this extra space at optimum temperatures.
Use Energy–Efficient Methods for Cleaning
There is a lot you do in your day-to-day life where there are ways to save electricity, and cleaning your apartment is one such task. Follow these tips to achieve energy-efficiency:
Saving Energy in the Kitchen
An electricity provider will charge a higher price of electricity during the day, so avoid using your major appliances, like the dishwasher, at this time. When you do use a dishwasher, turn off the heat system. Instead, you can air dry your dishes.
When cooking, keep the lids on the pan so the heat is trapped inside and watch the cooking process speed up. Give frozen items time to thaw instead of putting them on the heat directly. Also, keep your fridge and freezer full. This helps the appliance maintain a low temperature without using too much electricity.
Energy–Efficient Laundry Tips
Avoid the peak hours when you are billed higher. For instance, try doing your laundry at night time. Moreover, use cold water since that makes no difference in how well your clothes get washed.
Instead of running the dryer, hang your clothes under sunlight to air dry them. If you do use the dryer, keep its exhaust clean so it can run efficiently without wasting energy.
Schedule Hot Water Usage and the Thermostat
The water will generally be colder during the night and warmer when the sun is out, thus it will take less time to heat in the day. That way, your heating costs will minimize. Keep these basic tricks in mind to minimize the electricity usage of a water heater.
You can also opt for water heater timers. These devices schedule when you use hot water so that is the only time the water heaters will turn on.
Do Not Completely Rely on Your HVAC System
HVAC systems are energy vampires, but there are ways to save money and all that electricity by regulating its usage and adjusting thermostats. One option is to opt for smart thermostats.
Smart thermostats work by adjusting the thermostat by a few degrees when you are out of your home or asleep. You will not even notice a difference in the environment, but the electricity bills will go down by up to 10%!
Water Consumption in the Shower
We all know it, but tend to ignore the fact that electricity is wasted on a water heater. The entire time you stand under your shower wasting gallons of cold water, the water heater is running. One tip to use less electricity is to reduce the water heater temperature by a few degrees so that the water heats up quicker.
You can also get one of those new showerheads that come with an adapter. These showerheads lower the water flow to keep the cold water from getting wasted as you wait for warm water.
With these tips, it is guaranteed that your electric bill will no longer be the most worrisome of your utility bills. You can devise the perfect electricity plan to save money. Not only that, but you will also be playing your part to save the environment.
All of these helpful ways to save energy are also easy to implement. So, without any more excuses, go ahead and shift your usage to more energy-efficient options!