apartment energy tips
After you move in
Keep your electricity bills in check right away! If you have the money, replace most or all of the lights with fluorescents. You can stagger this if you wish, and only buy or install the lights you anticipate using most often. Take the old incandescent bulbs, and carefully place them in a bag. Wrap them in newspaper so they won’t break. Store them safely.
If you moved in during the cold season, get some rope caulk and seal the gaps or cracks in your window. You can also install foam tape, if needed. Both these together costs less than $20, and it can take care of most if not all the windows in a normal sized apartment.
If you discover a window already has foam tape or rope caulk, carefully inspect it. If it needs to be replaced, its a simple task that could save you money.
Check on the shower head. If it is a water guzzler, install a new low flow model. Carefully wrap and save the old one. Make sure it is completely dry before you store it, or it may rust or develop deposit stains!
If the apartment has hardwood floors, or thin carpeting, consider throw or area carpets. You can take them with you, and are generally easy to manage.
When moving out
Apartments are temporary for most people. When you are getting ready to move out, do the following:
Remove the compact fluorescents you installed, and replace them with the incandescent bulbs you took out when you first moved in. If they broke or you lost them, simply replace them with other incandescent bulbs. Don’t keep the fluorescents in there – take them with you to your next apartment or house.
Leave rope caulk, foam tape and other sealing intact. You won’t be able to reuse them effectively anyway.
Remove the new low flow shower head you bought, and replace it with the one the apartment came with.
Take any carpets you bought with you!
The big thing to remember when fixing up your apartment is portability and expense. If you can take the improvement or product that reduces your bills with you easily without damage, go ahead and do it. If a small project isn’t permanent but it helps reduce your bills (like rope caulk, which can be removed), go for it. Stay away from caulking or anything that can be considered semi-permanent.
Retrieved from the “Reducing Energy Bills” ebook.