20 Ways to lower electric bill in apartment
How to reduce electric bill — Step by Step
Electricity is the reason your fridge is on, the lights are shining, and your AC is humming. Some tips on how to reduce electric bill might be tough to implement because they are inconveniencing.
But they are worth the trouble considering that you might be able to reduce your light bill by up to 50%. See how to improve on the four main areas of electric usage:
Cooling and heating
Worried that your 50-inch TV is guzzling all the power in your house and maybe even causing the lights to flicker. You might be wrong. Most of the electricity spent in your home can be tied to two main activities; heating and cooling.
Cooling takes place when it’s hot outside during summer, or for most months in Florida. The AC keeps the apartment cool and breezy.
Heating takes place during winter or on cold nights. Your electric heater will run non-stop to keep your apartment toasty.
Here are the ways to save electricity at home when heating or cooling:
1) Ditch your manual thermostat
Some landlords permit tenants to install new and more accurate thermostats. But you’ll have to reinstall the old one when you move out.
Get a programmable thermostat. They go for less than $100 and lasts for 10 years or more. During the first couple of days of using it, the device learns and stores all your preferences.
One of the preferences that you can get it to adopt is turning down the temperatures by up to 10 degrees when you hit the blankets or when you are away at work.
If you can’t get a new thermostat, you can also adjust the device manually before leaving or going to bed.
2) Replace air filters
The recommended interval of replacing air filters is after one to three months. It just depends on how clogged they are. After getting new filters, you’ll enhance airflow and cleanliness.
And how will it save electricity? The HVAC system can run more efficiently and use less energy. Each air filter costs 1 to 2 dollars.
3) If you don’t mind, “please open the windows”
Turn off the AC despite the seething heat outside. Open your windows wide, and let the waft of a cool breeze sweep through your house and draw the heat away.
4) Apply for a free energy assessment
Homeowners are not the sole beneficiaries of this perk. Find out about free assessments in your state. Qualified energy assessors can evaluate your HVAC system, level of insulation, areas prone to drafts, power usage, etc.
The second biggest contributor to your scary power bill is water heating. On average, people sink in $400 to $600 yearly in heating expenses.
Since your landlord had the final say over the type of water heater you’re currently using, you can’t change it just as easily. But if you were to move out, choose places with tankless heaters as they are more energy-efficient than heaters with tanks.
Some apartments have solar water heaters installed. They rely on sun rays and heat water more efficiently than electric or gas heaters. What’s more, they reduce electric consumption, but cloudy days could leave you looking for backups.
Here are more water heating electricity-saving tips:
5) Use low-flow showerheads & faucets
Replacing showerheads and faucets is a minimum improvement that can do wonders. Your old faucets might be using too much water.
“Low-flow” devices restrict water usage by up to 40%. You’ll be killing two birds with the same stone essentially; your water bill and energy bill.
6) Set your water heater to 120 degrees
Just to be safe, most manufacturers recommend setting your water heater thermostat to 120oF. Not only will it save your energy costs, but it’s also a safe water temperature that’s less likely to result in burns. It also reduces mineral build-up in your pipes and tank.
7) Wash clothes in cold water
Want to save money the next time you load your washer full of your dirty wear? Skip heated water, and you might cut your normal electric usage by 75 percent.
Appliances, electronics, and lighting electricity-saving tips
On average, your lighting accounts for 5% of the total energy consumption. Appliances like your fridge and other electronics like your high-end flat-screen account for 17% of the total energy use.
Follow these tips to save on your electricity further:
8) Keep your lights off
It’s a simple habit that your parents may have ingrained in you as you grew up: “if you’re not in a room, turn the lights off.” If the lights are not illuminating anything, in particular, it makes no sense keeping them on.
9) Buy Energy Star Rated appliances
Shopping for new appliances? It might be a wise idea to skip buying second-hand fridges, washers, etc. Instead, opt for newer models that are rated by the Environmental Protection Agency as energy saving. You might even get 50% less electric usage.
10) Don’t wash in small batches
Are you washing and drying clothes in small batches every other day of the week? It’s not the most efficient way to stay spotless.
Wait a couple of days until you have built a mountain of dirty clothes. Then load your machine to its maximum capacity for efficient laundry.
11) Switch off your devices — completely off
Even if your electronics are in sleep mode, they are secretly using phantom power. Sleeping devices contribute to millions of dollars in waste. One solution to this is using smart power strips.
You can purchase a smart strip for a measly sum of $25. The device comes with features such as the ability to remotely switch off plugged-in electronics from your mobile device. It even detects and stops phantom power usage. You can even set various plugs to switch on automatically at preset times.
12) Equip your lights with motion sensors
Motion-activated lights are great for low-traffic areas such as hallways or bathrooms. The motion-activated switch can be connected to more than one bulb. Light comes on when you walk into a room and off when you leave. If you’re constantly forgetting to switch off the lights for days on end, this device might help.
13) Best practices for your fridge
First off, don’t put a steaming hot kettle or any other hot item into your fridge directly. Leave it to cool on a rack.
Also, don’t set your fridge to the highest level. Maintain it at a medium level. The FDA recommends a temperature of at least 40 degrees.
14) Use the microwave when you can
Microwaves do a better job of heating certain foods than cooking with gas or inside the oven. They are more energy-efficient since they only need to heat the water molecules inside the food.
15) Invest in LED Lights
They are 75 to 90% more energy-efficient than incandescent bulbs. Though they are more expensive to purchase, you’ll get a good return from them because they last up to 25 times more.
How to lower electric bill in winter?
Winters are when energy and electric bills go through the roof. For instance, you might spend more time indoors. Kids on winter breaks may hog their gaming consoles. If it’s during the holidays, you might have seasonal lights flickering 24/7. Here are some of the best winter energy-saving tips:
15) Install door sweeps
Doors are pretty vulnerable to heat loss because of the gap at the bottom. Fortunately, there is an inexpensive way of weatherproofing your doors, and it entails installing sweeps made of rubber. They create an air seal that will prevent cold air from drafting from outside.
16) Shrink-wrap your windows
Do you have a single plane of glass on your windows? As hot air comes into contact with the cold glass, the heat loss will be significant.
Shrink-wrapping is an inexpensive technique you can try. You create a plastic layer insulating the glass. It’s claimed to help prevent 55% of heat loss during winter.
17) Reduce drafts on windows
Conduct a thorough examination of your windows looking for gaps or holes that may allow icy air to infiltrate and decrease your heating efficiency. For window weatherproofing, you can use spray form, caulk, and seals.
18) Wear warmer clothes and crank down the thermostat
Don’t turn up the thermostat so high that you’re sweating or wandering the apartment with a tee-shirt on while it’s snowing outside. Wear a jacket or sweater and turn down the temperature by a couple of degrees. You might not even feel the difference between 70 degrees and 67 degrees, which could save you about $10 per degree.
19) Close the fireplace damper
Would you keep a window fully open on the harshest winter night? Keeping your fireplace damper open is comparable to having an open window and results in massive energy loss. Drafts will find a way into your cozy home, and hot air will find an easy escape through the chimney.
20) Shut doors to rooms you’re not utilizing
If you have a spare bedroom, keep it closed to prevent heating it.
Before implementing these tips, it’s a wise idea to track your electricity usage on a daily or monthly basis. If your utility company allows you to monitor your usage online, take advantage of their time-saving tool. It’s only through continuous improvements that you’ll lower your bill to where you need it to be.