One of the big energy problems throughout the state is rental property. In most rent or lease situations the tenant is responsible for the utility bills. The person owning the property has no vested interest in paying for energy upgrades because he doesn’t have to pay the utility bills.
It is a difficult situation and one of the larger reasons for major energy waste. Short of legislative action that would require some mandatory energy upgrades here are some suggestions to help lower utility costs for the renter. Take charge of what you can control and apply some pressure on the landlord to do some upgrades.
Renters: 6 Tips to Saving Money On Your Monthly Utility Bill:
1) Air Conditioning Is Your Highest Utility Cost!
Your air conditioning unit averages about 38-40% of your utility costs, each degree you bump your temperature warmer will save you between 4-7%! That is significant savings for just a behavior change.
We recommend setting your thermostat at 78% for cooling. When doing adjustments take your time. Only change a degree or two per week so your body adjusts. Use ceiling fans when you are in the room.
2) Water Heating Is Your Second Largest Cost.
Use a cooking thermometer and see how hot your water is at the kitchen sink. We recommend 120*. If your temperature is hotter than that, ask your landlord to have your water heater adjusted to 120*. If you have a gas water heater you can adjust it yourself. Electric water heaters the adjustment is not accessible to the homeowner.
3) Choose The Correct Window Shade Color.
Use white or light colored window shades on the east, west and south sides of the home. This will reflect some of the sun’s heat out and keep it from warming your home.
4) Switch to LED
If you have any halogen lighting, replace the bulbs with LED. You can purchase LED lights to fit most halogen bulbs at Lowe’s or Home Depot. Halogens give off over 300* each. LEDs are around 100*. This actually will help on the AC.
5) Seal-in Energy-Efficiency
As much as possible try to seal places where you can feel the hot air infiltrating. Check around windows and doors. Some inexpensive weather-stripping may be added.
6) Remember To Change Your Furnace Filter.
Make sure you regularly change your furnace filters. It is best to use the white folded looking filters with a rating no higher than MERV 8. If you buy the super filters they block too much of the airflow and the AC won’t work properly.
Tips on how to keep your heating and cooling costs down!