Energy Saving Tips
Energy costs for lighting, heating, cooking and bathing are a major monthly expense for apartment and home dwellers. Most energy savings literature is directed toward the homeowner, but renters can also save money by 1) monitoring energy usage, 2) making inexpensive energy savings improvements, and 3) developing energy saving habits.
Energy savings means money saving as well as conserving our
natural resources. The following information will give you some helpful tips
on easy-to-do energy saving. Also, learning how to read electric and gas meters
will help you in learning your energy-use habits. This information is also
The savings suggestions in these pages cost very little to implement,
and some involve NO COST AT ALL!
Keeping the Heat Where You Want It
Obviously, it is up to the landlord to correct conditions of
extreme draftiness caused by loose window panes, open spaces around doors,
missing caulking, and holes in exterior walls. But to correct slight drafts,
it is up to the discretion of the individual. You should approach the landlord
about providing the additional protective measures described below. He or
she may at least be willing to supply materials. However you arrange to get
it done, following these suggestions can save you up to 10% on both your heating
bill in the winter and air conditioning bill in the summer.
Close drapes, blinds, and shades when the sun is not shining. Keeping window coverings closed acts as insulation against cold outside air.
Open drapes, blinds, and shades on sunny days and let the warmth of the sun help heat your apartment.
Shut heating and air conditioning off in unused rooms if possible and be sure to close all closet doors.
Open doors to rooms that are used.
Do not block heating or cooling outlets with furniture, drapes, or pictures. This includes cold air return registers.
If you have a fireplace, close the damper when not in use or block the opening with a removable cover.
Avoid unnecessary loss of energy to the outside by not opening outside doors and windows more than necessary.
Inspect the furnace and air conditioner filter monthly and change it when it is dirty.
Clean warm air registers and return grills regularly during the heating season.
Do not use electric space heaters in the bathroom while showering.
During the winter, set your thermostat at the lowest setting that is sweater comfortable. A maximum daytime setting that is recommended is 65º F, with 55º F at night. EACH DEGREE HIGHER CAN ADD 3% TO YOUR HEATING BILL!
Avoid frequent changes of your thermostat setting—it can add to your heating and cooling costs.
Turn off lights when leaving a room.
Provide “task” lighting (over desks, tool benches, etc.) so the activities can be performed without illuminating the entire room.
Use fluorescent lamps whenever possible. They produce about four times as much light per watt as do incandescent bulbs.
Clean lighting fixtures regularly.
Check to be sure that dirt has not accumulated on coils and condenser, located in the back and underneath the refrigerator. Vacuum to remove dirt.
Cover everything in the refrigerator. Warm or hot foods should be covered and allowed to cool 20 minutes before refrigeration.
Open and close the refrigerator and freezer doors only when necessary. Do not stand with the door open.
Refrigerate only foods that require it.
Keep refrigerator temperature at 30º to 40º F and freezer temperature at 0º F for best operation.
Use a medium or low flame. Cooking seldom requires a high flame and then only for a short time.
Tailor the size of the flame to the size of your pan. If the flame is yellow/orange instead of blue, your burner needs adjusting, cleaning, or both. Talk to your landlord.
Preheat the oven only when it is necessary, and then set it to the temperature you intend to use. When preheating is necessary, allow the oven to warm up no more than 5 to 7 minutes.
When cooking vegetables, use as little water as possible and cover the sauce pan to speed cooking.
Defrost frozen foods in the refrigerator or on top of a counter, not in a warm oven or boiling water.
Foods cook faster in flat, smooth-bottomed pans; and there is less of a chance of burning the food.
Cook in quantity and freeze the extra for later use.
When food reaches the boiling point, turn the flame down to a lower setting or simmer.
Avoid opening the oven door repeatedly to check on food.