You budget for rent, but the monthly utility bill for your apartment can be unpredictable. While utilities are a necessity, spending a lot of money on them isn’t. The good news is that cutting your energy costs doesn’t require major lifestyle changes—here are five easy ways to cut utility costs in your apartment:
- Unplug. Listen to what your mom taught you and turn the lights off when you leave a room. Similarly, you can also cut expenses by unplugging appliances and devices when they aren’t in use. Large items should stay plugged in, but phone chargers, hair dryers, toasters, and other small items can be unplugged until you’re ready to use them.
- Open windows. Instead of using a lot of energy to cool your home with air conditioning, go the natural route and use your windows instead. Open your windows when the weather is hot and block the sun from entering your apartment with shades or curtains. Even running a fan is much more energy efficient than running the air conditioner.
- Check your vents. You may be surprised to find that some of your vents may be closed; meaning the air conditioning or heat you are paying for isn’t even making it into your space. Closing a vent doesn’t stop the air or heat from running and can increase your energy costs.
- Change your bulbs. Switch your standard incandescent light bulbs for fluorescent or LED versions, which are a more eco-friendly (and wallet-friendly) lighting solution. While they might cost more upfront, they last much longer and pay off in the long run.
- Change filters. Air filters should be replaced every one to three months, depending on how often you run your heating and cooling system. Old, dirty filters make it harder for the air to push through, which means they aren’t as effective. Filters can be purchased inexpensively in bulk so you always have some on hand.