When you live in a rental home, you don't have the benefit of making certain home improvements to lower your carbon footprint or reduce your energy bill. If you find that your energy bill is a little too high, the following tips will help you, even when you are renting your home.
Seal Cracks Around Windows
While you might not be able to install new windows in a rental home like you could with a home you owned, you should be able to make minor improvements like sealing cracks or gaps. This is something the landlord should do on their own, but that they don't always get around to. If you want to save energy by doing it yourself, you can get caulk and seal any cracks you notice around your windows or doors. These cracks might be causing your energy bill to rise since some of the air in your home is escaping when using the heater or air conditioner. Also look for gaps that might need to be addressed or ask the landlord about having weatherstripping installed.
Use a Programmable Thermostat
Consider using a programmable thermostat for your HVAC unit if you don't have one already. This is another home improvement that many landlords are more than happy to provide you, since they know the energy overall is reduced in the home. If you have central heating or air in the apartment or house, but an old-fashioned thermostat, ask about getting a new one installed. This should be a pretty easy installation job, possibly even something you can handle on your own without needing the landlord to do it for you.
Install Insulating Window Treatments
Some window treatments can provide light insulation so that you aren't using quite as much energy in the home. For example, if you have the air conditioner on frequently because it gets so hot inside, you might want to switch out the regular drapes for ones with a plastic backing to block out the sun. You will also be able to keep it cooler with wood or bamboo blinds or shutters as opposed to vertical blinds, which tend to sway and let a lot of unwanted sun and light in.
Have Lights Set On Timers
If you are someone that tends to forget to turn off lights, it might be a good idea to have them set on timers. For example, you might have string lights that are hung up outside on the patio that everyone in the household seems to leave turned on. You can have them plugged into an extension cord with a timer that will go off after a few hours of having them turned on.
For more information, talk to a heating and cooling professional.