This regularly-scheduled sponsored column is written by the Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy team (AIRE). This county program helps you make smart energy decisions that save you money and leaves a lighter footprint on the environment.
Housing affordability isn’t just about the rent. It’s about the utilities, too. Adopting a few practices in your apartment and condo can keep more money in your pocket.
Making your apartment or condo more energy efficient doesn’t have to be a lengthy or costly process. Spending a few minutes after work or on the weekend would be enough to make these changes.
Most of these tips are things renters or condo owners can do on their own. However, if you have questions or need help, don’t be afraid to reach out to your apartment manager or landlord.
1. Let the Sun In
Leave south-facing blinds open during sunny days and close them at night to lock the heat in. The sun will give you free heating during the day.
2. Thermostat Setting
You can save energy and money by only running your furnace when you are home. Turn your thermostat down when you leave or get a motion sensing thermostat that automatically changes the temperature.
3. Air Flow
If your couch or other items are positioned to block your heating unit or vent, it reduces the amount of air flow. This makes your mechanical system work harder and it takes longer to heat your home. Let the air flow and make sure the vents are clear.
4. Ceiling Fan Setting
Have you ever noticed the switch on your ceiling fan? Your fan should push air down during warm summer months of the year and draw it up during the winter to help create a more even temperature year-round.
5. LED Light Bulbs
LED light bulbs are still the easiest way to save energy and the prices have come way down. They also last longer and use a fraction of the energy compared to incandescents. LED bulbs come in an array of colors and can be dimmed. Swap out your standard bulbs for LED ones to reduce energy costs.
6. High-Performance Showerhead
WaterSense rated showerheads are the way to go. They are tested for performance. They reduce energy used associated with hot water as well as water and sewer costs. If you can’t install one yourself, talk to your landlord or apartment manager about having one installed.
Disclaimer: Your utility savings depends on what is or is not included in your rental agreement or HOA dues. Results may vary. Batteries not included. Ask your doctor before using. Past performance no indication of future success. Every action makes a difference.