Energy efficient apartments have two moving parts: things you buy to be more efficient and things you do. This articles takes a look at some of the changes you can make as a renter that will have the biggest impact.
Turn down the thermostat while you sleep
You can save up to 10% on your heating and cooling bills each year just by turning your thermostat down by 7-10 degrees for eight hours a day. If you have control over your apartment’s thermostat, turn it down before you go to bed and then snuggle up under the covers to stay warm while you save some dough. If you don’t have pets, you can also turn the heat down during any hours that you’re not at home.
Weatherstrip your windows
Windows are one of the main ways that your apartment loses heat in the winter, which in turn forces your heating system to work overdrive to maintain balance. Fortunately, there are a number of affordable weatherstripping products that are simple to apply to your windows and help keep the cold air outside where it belongs. If you rent in a particularly old building, consider adding two layers of weatherstripping material to ensure your efforts pay off. Sound like too much work? You could also place a rolled up towel in front of the window sill to block drafts from coming through.
Draft-proof your outlets
Like windows, outlets can let in drafts from the outside that offset your apartment’s heating and cooling efforts. Put your hand in front of each outlet on a cold day and feel for any cold air coming through, or just see if your outlets themselves feel especially cold. If either of those things are the case, use gaskets—little plastic plugs that fit in your outlets—to seal them up and keep the air out. Gaskets plug in and out easily, so you can remove them when you need to use the outlet.
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