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Apartment living can give you a unique and convenient way of life. Rather than commuting miles out to the suburbs just to get some extra space, living in an urban apartment can keep you close to work, shopping, and recreation. Of course, downtown living carries a lot of the same overhead as its more distant counterpart, with energy costs at the top of the list. Here are some simple ways to reduce your energy expense in an apartment. Draw the Blinds In larger apartment buildings, individual units may only have one wall to provide a view of the neighborhood. If it happens to be the same wall that catches late-day sun, the apartment can quickly heat up. That’s good in the winter and bad in the summer. Managing your window blinds will help you get the maximum benefit of winter sun and the minimum impact of summer sun. Have HVAC Serviced As a renter, you are probably not in charge of heavier maintenance tasks like changing furnace filters. However, it is in your best interest to make sure it’s being done because you’re the one paying the energy bill. Clean filters use less energy, saving you on energy costs, so make sure the maintenance staff is keeping things current. Watch Water Waste Most people are in tune with the need to minimize wasted water just because of the importance of conserving. However, once we’re talking about hot water, there is also an energy cost. Any drippy or inefficient fixture that utilizes hot water is also wasting energy as it wastes water. Make sure every faucet and shower head has low water flow and doesn’t leak. If your unit ever needs a new water heater, encourage the management to look into tankless water heaters for building-wide savings. Be Balcony-Wise The need for fresh air is natural, and a great apartment will have some outdoor space for you to enjoy. It’s easy to lose track of the loss of warm and cool air that takes place around those doors. Make sure you are keeping your deck or balcony door closed. If there are gaps in the weatherstripping or other issues with keeping it tight, have the maintenance staff check it out. Choose Efficient Bulbs Saving energy is often a matter of investment. Spending a little more to buy efficient LED bulbs can add up to real savings over the long term. As you replace blown bulbs in your apartment, choose efficient models that will pay you back for your initial investment in them with reduced energy costs. Living close to work and recreation can be a real convenience. With a few simple strategies to save energy, an urban apartment can also be an affordable place to live too.
BrookeChaplan posted a blog entry in Brooke Chaplan's Green BlogCranking up the thermostat is one of the most common ways for people to stay warm indoors throughout the winter, but this is also one of the most expensive methods. You may not be able to afford to use your heating system as much as you would like to this winter, or you may not want to spend a fortune unnecessarily. The good news is that there are several effective ways for you to stay warmer at home without relying heavily on your furnace. Keep Your Heater Well-Maintained Your heater will use more energy to heat your home when it is not well-maintained. Consider those dirty or worn out components may reduce efficiency, causing your heater to work harder than necessary. Scheduling residential heating maintenance services annually is a wonderful way to improve efficiency and to save money when your heater is running. Re-Seal Doors and Windows Annually You may decrease the frequency with which your heater turns on by re-sealing your home’s doors and windows annually. When heated air escapes from cracks in these seals, your heater may need to run more frequently to keep your home warm. This unnecessarily increases heating-related energy costs. In addition, cool air may penetrate through these seals, and this could create draughts that can be uncomfortably chilly. Re-sealing doors and windows is an affordable project that may deliver a great financial return. Add More Insulation to the Walls and Attic Another idea is to supplement your home’s existing insulation with an extra layer. Some homes are built with low-quality insulation, so upgrading the insulation may have incredible benefits on energy efficiency and overall comfort in the home. If your home is older, the insulation may have deteriorated or been damaged. Adding more insulation may be essential for superior warmth indoors. Spray-in foam may be particularly effective. While this step requires a significant financial investment, the return over the years can be substantial. You can see that relying solely on your heater to keep you warm in the winter can be expensive and may not be as effective as it could be. Each of these steps can reduce home heating costs while improving your comfort level indoors. Keep in mind that wearing warmer clothes indoors, burning a fire in the fireplace, sitting underneath a blanket and drinking warm beverages may also have a beneficial impact on your comfort throughout the winter. Consider combining all of these ideas for a comprehensive approach and exceptional results.