Of America’s 35 million apartment residents, a significant portion of them are renters. One of the best parts of renting as opposed to buying is not having to worry too much about the status of your dwelling. Big picture headaches like costly repairs and home values are not your concern—and if the place isn’t to your liking, you’re more mobile than if you’re tied to a mortgage.
That doesn’t mean there are no concerns for apartment dwellers. For one, many who live in apartments do own them. But more importantly, one of the most expensive aspects of apartment upkeep for any inhabitant is energy. Ever gone to stay with a starving actor friend in New York in the summer? There’s a reason he doesn’t have air conditioning.
Here are three easy energy tips that let you save energy and cut down on your apartment’s energy costs.
1. Wash your clothes with cold water. Air dry them.
The biggest energy expenditure in any apartment is temperature control. Air conditioning is, of course, going to be one of the biggest monthly energy expenditures you have—more on that in a second—but there are also other, less heralded climate controlling mechanisms in your home.
If you wash your clothes with hot water, you are spending a tremendous amount of unnecessary energy. According to Energystar.gov, 90 percent of the energy that goes into washing a hot load of clothes is the energy that heats the water. Wash your clothes with cold water.
And don’t use a dryer either, for that matter.
2. Make sure your apartment is energy sealed.
Often, annoying energy-wasting expenditures come at the margins of your life. Mashable has a great list of things you can do that will shore up your energy-saving operation, saving you money and stress in the process. Seal your windows so the carefully cultivated climate you’ve got in your apartment stays in your apartment. Pack your freezer so as many cold items are in there as possible. Even something as small as covering cooking pots or pans can save you some valuable energy—and scratch in the process.
3. Don’t lose track of your apartment’s climate.
It can be easy to forget how hot or cold you’ve set the thermostat. But if you want to save energy, it’s so important that you know exactly how hot or cold you’re keeping your home. Buy a programmable thermostat that knows when you’re in or out of the house and you can turn your apartment into an optimized energy paradise.