Are you living in an apartment and eating super cheap foods to survive the recession? Maybe you can save money on your power bills? Sometimes it can be tough to lower your power bill while living in an apartment. You can’t do much about low quality construction, inadequate insulation, or old appliances. But, there are several ways to cut your electric bill in an apartment with little cost.
1. High Efficiency Light Bulbs. Perhaps the biggest change you can make in an apartment is to use lamps with high efficiency bulbs and minimize the use of old technology track lighting and ceiling lights. High efficiency light bulbs use a fraction of the energy used by old fashioned incandescent light bulbs. For example, a high efficiency compact flourescent light bulb that is equivalent of a 40 watt incandescent light bulb uses only 9 watts of power. With high efficiency compact flourescent bulbs, you can easily reduce your electricity usage for lighting to 1/4 of your costs under incandescent bulbs.
2. Turn Off Uncessary Lights. Being a highly efficient person can lower your lighting costs even more. If you aren’t in a room, turn the light off. A turned off light uses no power at all.
3. Keep Your Thermostat Set at 78-degrees in the Summer and 68-degrees in the Winter. If you can minimize the use of energy for heating and cooling, you will most certainly cut your power bill. If you wrap yourself in a snuggy or quilt during the winter and set your thermostat a little lower, you will save money. Conversely, in the summer time, you can save money by setting the thermostat a little higher and wearing less clothing.
4. Use Fans to Stay Comfortable. While you are letting it all hang out during the summer, you might as well enjoy a breeze. Fans will circulate the air, evaporate sweat, and allow you to feel cooler. With a ceiling fan going, you may even be able to bump your thermostat up to 80-degrees. Remember to turn off fans in unused rooms because they simply allow you to feel cool by helping evaporate sweat quickly.
5. Hang Insulating Curtains or Drapes. Insulating curtains or drapes will help keep your apartment home comfortable while saving you money. In mild, temperate, climates you can open the curtains to let the sun’s warmth in, and close them to keep the warmth in. Or, if it’s bitterly cold outside, you can close the energy-efficient insulating curtains to keep every bit of warmth in that you can. If it’s super hot, you can close the insulating curtains to keep that heat at bay. For less than $15 per panel, Walmart.com has Eclipse Dobby Energy-Efficient Curtain Panels that keep out 99% of outside light, reduce outside noise by up to 44%, and save $15 per year in energy costs.
6. Plug Drafts. It’s hard enough to heat an apartment without having extra cold air seeping in. You need to plug drafts to stop losing cool air in the summer and warmth in the winter. If you have a hand-held hairdryer, the Thermwell Products Indoor Shrink Window Insulation Kit for Standard Windows can save the day. The kit consists of plastic sheets of “shrink film” and “double faced tape” that can essentially shrink wrap a drafty window. While several kits are available, a standard three window kit sells for less than $5 online at HomeDepot.com. For a similar low price at HomeDepot.com, Thermwell has a “Double Draft Stop” that fits under drafty doorways to stop cold air at the front door.
With just a few simple steps, you can save energy, cut electric bills, and live in a more comfortable apartment. In a tough economy, every little bit of savings counts and cutting your electric bill can be an important part of your economic survival plan.
Home Depot.com (www.homedepot.com)