Renters can be savers with these energy-efficient tips and tricks

March 21, 2017

Are you interested in saving energy, lowering your energy bills and enjoying a more comfortable home this spring…but you currently rent? Just because you might not be able to replace appliances or add more insulation, doesn’t mean you can’t make energy savings a reality. Follow these renter-friendly tips and tricks to save energy this spring.

Open the windows and curtains. Bring the outdoors in this spring and give your heating and cooling system a break. Warm up your home or apartment on sunny days by opening curtains and blinds or cool down by cracking a window to let in a breeze. You’ll get some rejuvenating fresh air as you save on energy costs.

Program your thermostat. Spring weather can be a little unpredictable, so there are times where you may have to use your heating and cooling system. To get the most of your thermostat, you should set a schedule to heat or cool only when you are at home. Setting your thermostat 7-10˚ F from its normal setting for 8 hours a day can save you up to 10% in annual heating and cooling costs.

Set the water heater temperature to 120˚ F. Water heating is the second largest energy expense after space heating, accounting for almost 18% of your bill. Many water heaters are set to 140˚ F by the manufacturer, but lowering the temperature to 120˚ F still leaves you with plenty of hot water while helping you save up to $9/month.

Wash your clothes in cold water. Unless your clothes have developed a foul scent (think sweaty gym clothes), you don’t need to wash them in warm water to get them clean. Cold water is actually better for them in the long run; helping protect the dyes that keep them colorful as the day you bought them. Cold-water washing can save you up to $9/month.

Use faucet aerators and low-flow showerheads. Another low-cost way to save on water heating expenses – and water usage overall – is with faucet aerators and low-flow showerheads. You’ll hardly notice a difference in water pressure, but you will notice savings, up to $145 in energy costs annually.

Keep your fridge stocked and clean. Does your apartment or house have an older fridge? You can improve its efficiency even if you can’t replace it for a more efficient model. First, make sure you keep your fridge at least three-quarters full. A well-stocked fridge doesn’t run as much to keep everything cool. Second, clean the condenser coils behind or underneath the fridge. Dirty coils could lead the fridge from working harder to stay cool.

For smaller appliances and electronics, choose ENERGY STAR®. Room air conditioners, dehumidifiers and air purifiers are products you may use to in your home or apartment in the spring. These products can also use a significant amount of energy if you have older, inefficient models. Upgrade to ENERGY STAR certified products to enjoy the benefits of comfort and improved indoor air quality while using less energy.

Replace incandescent light bulbs with LEDs. Flip the switch on your lighting this spring. By just replacing your five most commonly used incandescent bulbs with LED, you can save up to $9/month. LED bulbs last up to 90% longer, so you may not even replace another light bulb for the rest of your lease.

Contact your landlord about getting an energy assessment. If you want to make a bigger dent in your energy expenses and improve your comfort even further, ask your landlord about scheduling a no-cost energy assessment with Mass Save. Let your landlord know that energy efficient properties require less maintenance, improve property values and have happier tenants, like you!

To take advantage of rebates and incentives on many of the solutions for renters mentioned in this post, visit rebate page.

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