10 Energy-Saving Tips for Renters
Posted by Safeco January 28, 2016
How to Reduce Your Energy Costs While Renting
As winter wears on, temperatures drop and energy bills rise. If you’re a renter, you may think there’s not much you can do about those bills. After all, it’s your landlord’s building, and it’s your landlord who has the final say on big energy-saving improvements.
However, there are a number of steps you can take to cut costs. Some are simple lifestyle changes, a couple require small investments and one or two might involve a chat with your landlord. All are worthwhile.
The Simple Stuff
- Turn it down: Start with what’s easy and obvious: the thermostat. Try setting it at 68 degrees, or even lower if you’re comfortable with it. (Next summer, if your home is air conditioned, try 78 degrees.) Turn it down further (but not completely off) if you’re out of the house for long periods of time, as well as overnight. Now check your water heater, if you have access to it; try setting it at 120 degrees.
- Wash full loads: For laundry and dishes, save dirties until you have full loads, rather than washing partials. Use cold water for laundry, and scrape dishes rather than rinsing before washing.
- Check your furniture—and fridge: If you have a couch or other furniture over heat registers, move them so air can circulate. Make sure refrigerator coils are clean and gaskets seal tightly.
- Use your shades: Open window shades and blinds when the sun is out, and close them overnight to help contain heat.
Spend a Little, Save a Lot
- Manage your electronics: Invest in power strips you can use to turn off computers and electronic appliances when not in use. Smart power strips can even do some of the work for you by cutting power to devices in standby mode. Only plug in battery chargers when you need them. All of these devices continue to draw energy even when they’re not being used.
- Swap out your bulbs: If you still have any old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs, replace them with compact fluorescents or LEDs. Check with your power company; utilities sometimes offer money-saving deals for switching your bulbs.
- Swap out your showerhead: A low-flow showerhead will save both water and the energy used to heat it. Again, check with your water company; it may offer showerheads at a discount or even for free.
Talk to Your Landlord
- Keep the furnace maintained: Remind your landlord about the necessity of annual furnace checkups and quarterly filter replacements.
- Plug the holes: If there are small holes around ducts, pipes, exhaust fans, vents, sink and bathtub drains, fireplaces or exterior wall outlets and light switches, suggest some caulking or weather-stripping.
- Get with the program: Installation of a programmable thermostat will simplify temperature adjustments, and it will continue to be a money- and energy-saver even after you move on and someone else moves in.
You may not own your home, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take ownership over reducing your energy costs. Try these tips in your rental, and watch the savings add up!
Renters Insurance: A Small Investment That Could Pay Off Big
Your landlord insures the building. But, you can insure what’s inside it – your stuff – with a renters insurance policy. Create a home inventory to determine how much coverage you may need. Then talk to your independent insurance agent about selecting a policy that’s right for you. Asking these questions about renters insurance will further help you get the policy you want, helping protect your belongings against certain types of loss, theft and damage.