Being on a move doesn’t mean you have to be stuck with high energy bills. While you may not be able to do major energy-efficiency-improving renovations in your current location, there are a lot of small steps you can take to lower your energy bills after moving to the new location. Here are five places you can look for savings.
Keep your refrigerator between 33 and 40 degrees and your freezer between -10 and zero degrees. These are the safe temperatures for food storage and lower temperatures don’t help your food keep longer — they just use extra energy. Remember that every time you open the door, the cold air goes pouring out, and your refrigerator has to use more energy to get the temperature back down. Keeping your refrigerator and freezer well-stocked will help reduce the amount of air that flows out when you open the door and will help them hold their temperature. You can use ice or extra drinks you’d usually keep at room temperature to fill unneeded space.
Air Conditioner and Heater
While you’re largely stuck with what you get as a new tenant, there are a few things you can do to save energy. For air conditioning, keep the thermostat at 78 when you’re home and 85 when you’re away for maximum efficiency. For heating, keep the thermostat at 68 when you’re home and awake and 55 degrees when you’re away or sleeping. Be sure to change the filter every month and make sure your vents stay clean. If your AC is dirty, or cooling or heating poorly, keep asking your landlord to fix it. They won’t be in a rush to lower your energy bill, but they will want to make sure they keep you as a tenant.
With incandescent light bulbs now phased out, you no longer have to worry about buying energy efficient light bulbs, but you might want to switch any remaining incandescent bulbs out now. In addition to using more energy, they also generate more heat that works your AC harder. Also follow basic common sense in turning off lights when you leave a room and using timers on lights you need to switch on for security.
A water heater might cost several hundred dollars per year to run. You can cut that cost by keeping the temperature no higher than 120 degrees. That’s hot enough to wash dishes and do laundry, and any higher risks scalding you. If you have a poorly insulated water heater, investing in a thermal blanket that you can put on it and take with you when you move out might be a good investment.
Having a washer and dryer in your apartment is great, but it will also add to your energy bills. 90% of the energy used when washing clothes is for hot water, so use cold water whenever possible. Always try to wash and dry full loads whenever possible, or at least remember to change the washer settings to use less water. For the most efficient drying, clean the dryer vent after every load, and use the automatic dry feature to avoid running the dryer for longer than necessary.
Saving Tips by Location
- SOLAR New York
- KIWI Energy – NYC
- Water Saving Tips – NYC.gov
- National Grid – Brooklyn & Bronx
- Energy-Saving Tips for Your Home – New Jersey
- FPL: Lower My Bill – Miami
- FLEX alert – Los Angeles