When it comes to saving money on your energy costs there are literally hundreds of sites devoted to telling you what kind of appliances or home equipment you should buy, but what if you’re a tenant and what is in your home is what you’re stuck with. Below are a few energy saving tips that you can do without having to upgrade everything in your home.
Heating & Cooling
Ceiling fan direction: Since warm air rises to the ceiling and cold air falls to the floor, you should switch the direction of your ceiling fan according to the season. By reversing your ceiling fans in the winter months, you will be pulling the cold air off of the floor and circulating the warm air throughout the room better. This will not only help with comfort but will increase the accuracy of your thermostat as well.
Curtains: It is a common misconception that you must have dark curtains to block out all sunlight when running the air conditioner. While blocking out sunlight does help to keep a home cool, using a lighter shade of curtains and simply keeping them closed will block much of the sun’s rays while still letting light in. In the winter months, try keeping the curtains open more often to allow the sun’s rays to help heat the home.
Furnace filter: A dirty furnace filter is one of the most common causes of heating & cooling system failure. This failure usually doesn’t happen overnight; in most cases, an AC unit or furnace will run for days or even weeks before you realize there is a filter issue. During that time, you could be the one paying higher utility bills because of the system not running efficiently.
Stove and bathroom vent fans: When these fans are running, they are simply sucking the conditioned air out of your home. During heavy heating and cooling months it is best to use these fans sparingly.
Light bulbs: According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), on average, 14% of a home’s energy consumption is from lighting. In the past, LED light bulbs were so much more expensive that it was hard for the average consumer to justify the expense, but as the technology and producers become more common, the prices are continuing to come down. When you factor in that an LED light bulb uses less than 20% of the energy and lasts an average of 25x longer than a standard incandescent bulb, it just makes sense to replace your most commonly used bulbs with LEDs.
Refrigerator: Have you ever moved out your refrigerator and been disgusted by the amount of dust and dirt on the back of it? This debris is not only gross, but it can also be preventing your fridge from working efficiently. Periodically cleaning the fins on the back of a refrigerator will help it keep cool more effectively. Also, did you know that a full freezer uses less energy? Once a product is frozen, it only needs the air around it to stay below freezing for the product itself to stay frozen. The less open space, the less your freezer has to work.
Cooking Stove: Make sure your reflector pans are kept clean. Yes… these pans actually have a purpose other than catching the junk that falls down in the stove. Reflector pans are meant to help direct the heat back up towards the cooking surface and work much more effectively when kept clean.
Battery chargers: You should always unplug battery chargers when they are not in use. Many chargers today still consume power even when they are not connected to a device.
Above all, you should always keep an eye on the equipment within your home, and communicate well with your landlord regarding any issues. Age doesn’t always mean that you’re going to spend more money, but equipment not operating correctly usually does. Regular use of a system such as www.network4rentals.com will help you stay in touch with your landlord without the pesky phone calls and help your landlord stay profitable, all while keeping you happy in your home for years to come.
Some images courtesy of Del Mar Fans