Apartment residents are often frustrated by their utility bills being higher than they think that they should be, and are often looking for ways to save on their electric bill.
Utility bills are based on a lot of factors, including the size of your apartment, the apartment's insulation and the complex's furnace. Luckily, there are some ways that you can cut costs.
How to lower the electric bill in your apartment
Lowering your electric bill doesn't always require you to take extreme measures like getting rid of your refrigerator and never using your air conditioning. You can still live a normal, comfortable life while saving energy and money each month.
Here's a look at some ways to save on your electric bill.
1. Adjust your thermostat
A large portion of your monthly utility bill is based on your heating and cooling usage. You can save money on your utility bill by simply lowering or raising the temperature on your thermostat by a few degrees depending on the season. Instead of setting the thermostat to 68 degrees in the summer, bump it up to 71. And in the winter, keep it a little bit cooler than normal and wear a jacket and socks while at home.
Also, consider switching to a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat can help reduce your utility bill by lowering or raising the temperature while you're away from your apartment, so your HVAC unit won't be running all day while you're not at home. And if you're going on vacation and won't be at home, even if it's just for a day or two, turn off your air conditioning and heating so it won't run when you're gone.
2. Use energy-efficient light bulbs
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 5 percent of the average American household's energy consumption is lighting. By switching over to LED lights, you'll use substantially less energy than you would with a standard light bulb. Some LED light bulbs can last more than 10 years.
3. Check the air filter and ducts
Worn out air filters make things harder for your HVAC system, so make sure your filters are clean and change them out if needed. Having a dirty air filter will actually add to your expenses since your HVAC unit will have to work double-time to push through the grime and dirt. Air filters come in different sizes and are made from different materials. If you use cardboard and fiberglass filters, you'll save money on your utility bill.
You can also check your vents and ducts for dirt and debris. Over time, dust can build up, and leaves and dirt can get stuck inside your air ducts and block the airflow. As a result, your HVAC unit may be running for a long time, but may not be adequately cooling or heating your apartment.
4. Fix your water heater
The majority of water heaters are designed to keep water at a specific temperature at all times. Your water heater may be heating up water even though you aren't at home. You can reduce your heating costs by turning down your water heater temperature while you aren't at home and then turning it back up overnight.
5. Purchase a new shower head
Instead of wasting gallons of water as you wait for the water to heat up before you step into the shower, consider purchasing a shower-head adapter. Install the adapter on your shower-head, and you can save money as the adapter lowers the water flow until you're ready to get into the shower.
6. Turn off some appliances
People spend billions of dollars every year on standby power. Turn off or unplug electronics such as computers and televisions when you aren't using them. There are new devices available that will automatically shut down electronics when they aren't being used, such as smart plugs, so you don't have to do it manually each time.
7. Change your kitchen usage
The heat generated from cooking can certainly raise your AC costs. To save money, use your microwave instead of your stove to heat liquids, and try to cook more often at night when it's cooler.
And if you're baking something in the oven when it's cold outside, lower your thermostat and take advantage of the heat already coming from your oven to warm the room a bit.
8. Turn off the lights
We've been hearing it since the day we were born — turn off the lights when you leave the room! You'll see a reduction in your utility bill by turning off the lights in rooms that you're not using at the moment.
And if you really want to see big energy savings, harness the natural light via windows during the day, and don't turn on the lights in a room until it gets dark.
9. Speak with your landlord
Talk to your landlord about making some energy-efficient property upgrades. Your landlord may be able to wrap some pipes, add insulation, seal leaks around doors and windows or lower your water heater settings. You may even be able to convince them to invest in smart devices, like smart outlets and light bulbs, if you make a good case about their energy-saving benefits!
10. Wash large loads of clothes and hang dry
Try to wash only full loads of clothes. Your washer and dryer use about the same amount of energy to wash a large load and a small load, so washing one large load instead of multiple small loads will save lots of energy and water. Most detergents dissolve in cold water, so you can save even more energy by using cold water, rather than hot water since it uses energy to heat up.
Dryers are great, but they can use a lot of energy. Try hanging your clothes on a line or drying rack when the weather is warm instead of letting them tumble around in the dryer. There are already some clothing items that shouldn't be put in the dryer, so why not use that method for all of your clothes?
Be conscious of ways to save on your electric bill
Fluctuating bills can be frustrating, so try to be a little more conscious of how you use energy each day. By keeping top of mind these ways to save on your electric bill, you can hopefully reduce your expenses while doing your part for the environment.