The warm weather is here and you may be wondering how to save on your energy bill. Instead of turning on your air conditioner to the coolest setting, constantly leaving fans on for circulation and other costly actions that will leave your wallet hurting, try these rental living tips to help keep as many pennies in your possession as possible during the hot months.
Put Electronics on a Smart Power Strip
Turn off energy sources that you aren’t using or don't need, such as computers, lights, or chargers. You could also place your chargers on a smart power strip. So when you're done binge watching your favorite show on Netflix and the tv goes into standby mode, the power strip can sense the reduction in power and can turn off the electricity that would normally keep circulating through the device. If you have a regular power strip, you can manually turn off the strip to easily disconnect power to any electronics that are connected.
These are great for entertainment centers in the living room where your TV, Streaming Box, game consoles, etc. are connected. Plug them all into a power strip and control the electricity that flows to those devices when they aren't in use.
Line Dry Your Clothes
This may sound old school, but it saves energy and also helps prevent heating your rental when it isn’t necessary. Since many rentals won't allow outdoor line drying of clothes (especially many apartment complexes), try putting them on a hanger and hang them on the shower curtain rod or buy a drying rack that you can place in the bedroom.
Program Your Thermostat
It doesn't make sense to cool off your rental living space when nobody is present, but who wants to come home to a stuffy abode? Program your system to turn on at a certain time in the early evening just before you get home from work, and turn off at a specific time at night when you're asleep. If you don’t have an 8 to 5 job, then just program it to fit your schedule. If you really want to be efficient, set the system to go no lower than 78 degrees.
Switch Your Light Bulbs
Switching the bulbs you use every day to LEDs or compact fluorescents that use less energy will also save you money annually. Start by replacing your most frequently used light fixtures with models that have earned the ENERGY STAR label.
Grill or BBQ As Much as You Can
This will help you to avoid using your oven (which takes electricity). It may seem obvious, but it's easy to miss doing this simple switch. You can even go one step further and plan your meals to be grill friendly. When it's 100 degrees outside you won't be doing yourself any favors by turning on your oven at 400 degrees. Many apartment complexes won't allow a BBQ grill to be placed outside, in those cases we recommend seeing if your complex has community grills (as many Hignell Rentals properties do)!
Install Curtains and Close Them
This helps keep the cool air in and keeps the hot air out. If you have an office or guest room that isn't always in use, keep the curtains closed. It's fine to keep your shades open while you're home, but when you're gone keep them closed -- your air conditioner also won't have to work as hard to cool down your rental. The heavier the curtains, the more heat they will keep out.
Now that you have some tips in your arsenal, it's time for you to use them. Assess your energy usage and what you can and can’t live without. Then create a plan to help you survive the hot months when renting in Chico. For more rental living tips, check out our Rental Resource page for all our FREE information eBooks!