Here we discuss some of the simplest, most effective and of course, inexpensive actions you can take to take control of your rental home’s energy consumption while subsequently reducing your carbon footprint.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides an easy to use online calculator that allows you to estimate what impact your carbon footprint has on the environment and what actions you can take to reduce these effects.
The best news of all is that most, if not all, of these actions will pay for themselves in the form of monthly energy savings over the duration of your lease.
And, if your landlord pays for some or all of your energy costs, we are sure that they will thank you. Just remember to ask him or her first if you take any actions that require modification to your rental home or unit.
Top 5 Actions You Can Take
- Invest in Energy Efficient Light Bulbs
One of the easiest, inexpensive, and most effective actions you can take in decreasing your energy consumption is to invest in some energy efficient light bulbs.
You can find LED or CFLs at virtually any home improvement or discount retail store. If you have a membership, you can buy them in bulk at such wholesale retail stores as Costco and Sam’s Club.
- Replace Your HVAC’s Filter
Replacing your HVAC system’s filter every 1 to 3 months will not only help you in the fight against high energy costs but it will also help to ensure clean air circulates throughout your rental.
Replacement filters are relatively inexpensive and easy to install. In some apartment communities, basic filters are provided free of charge, you just have to ask your landlord or maintenance guy/gal.
- Opt for a Programmable Thermostat
Purchasing and installing a programmable thermostat can typically net you $150 a year in energy savings when used properly. Expect to spend $35 for a good thermostat.
Those with all the bells and whistles including smartphone capabilities will set you back over $200 – which defeats the purpose, if you ask me. You can find programmable thermostats at your local home improvement store.
- Use Power Strips in Your Rental
Do you know what “energy vampires” are? They are the electronics in your home (i.e. your computer, microwave, toaster oven, etc.) that are slowing sucking energy from your home while not even being in use – just plugged in.
These electronics account for more than 15% of your rentals’ home energy consumption! Using power strips throughout your home will enable you to turn off power to these little “energy vampires” thus saving you money.
Or, you could do what I do, and just unplug them when you’re done using them. Electronics that are rated as ENERGY STAR are less likely to suck energy from your home when not in use.
- Install Low-Flow Showerheads
Keeping your water use at a minimum when showering, even opting to take a short 10-minute shower, is not only good for the reduction of your water usage, but also for your electrical usage.
Installing and using a low-flow showerhead can help to save you up-to $145 dollars annually and are relatively inexpensive to purchase. You can typically pick up a good model for anywhere around $20 to $30.