The tips shared here on Energy Saver are great resources for the homeowner. But, what if you don't actually own your home?
If you're a renter, then you're probably looking at all of these tips and wondering what it all means for you. Renters usually can't make drastic changes to the living space, and thus are limited in what can be done to make the home or apartment more energy efficient.
But that doesn't mean there's nothing you can do to reduce your apartment's energy costs. Most renters have limits on the changes they can make to a home or apartment without consulting the landlord, and typically they don’t want to make investments in a property that is not theirs. But there are some basic energy conservation steps that renters can take to reduce energy such as:
- Turn off the lights when not in use and change out the light bulbs to LEDs
- Keep the thermostat at the highest comfortable level in the summer, and the lowest comfortable level in the winter.
- Reduce hot water usage. Shorter showers are good. So is running your clothes washer with cold water.
- Use window blinds or drapes or other window coverings to help windows keep out the temperatures from the outside.
Perhaps these are not the most exciting ways to save energy, but they are effective and easy steps. Another possible improvement for renters when it comes to comfort, look into weatherstripping to seal any air leaks in the doors and windows. While some weatherstripping is easy and requires little to no modification to the residence, some forms of weatherstripping require more intricate and detailed installation, and may even require a contractor to install. Check your local hardware store and see what options are out there and what work they require. Be sure to go in knowing whether you have aluminum or vinyl windows, how big they are, and how much trim is around them. If the windows and doors are drafty, and if the work required is extensive and expensive, talk to your landlord and see if they'll make the changes.
So why would you want to take steps to make a property that you do not own more energy efficient? Most renters have to pay for electricity, so any improvements can help save money, even in the short term. Oftentimes, energy efficient improvements make the living space more comfortable and healthy, and that can be more important whether you own the residence in the first place.
That's all there is to it! Whether you own your residence or not, you can always make smarter choices to reduce your energy costs and improve comfort.
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