Once you’ve signed a lease on a rental, it is important to protect the integrity of the owners’ property to avoid any claims once you move on. Yet, making “green,” energy conscious improvements is very much within reason and can save you a substantial amount of money and make your new apartment more planet friendly. Here’s a list of ten simple tips that can help make your rental into a sustainable home, without breaking the bank. If you make a small investment in changes, remember that your contributions will save you money over the long run, and can serve as a bargaining tool with your landlord, or future leasers.
Climate control: A lot of energy is spent in heating and cooling your home during the changing seasons. Insulation is the key to control and maintain a regular, comfortable temperature and indoor climate.
1. Properly seal windows with caulk or plastic coverings. A visit to the hardware store will equal sizable returns in energy savings once the heat or air conditioning is no longer leaking out of cracks or damaged window frames.
2. Invest in a Thermostat. Programmable thermostats will help you control your apartment’s indoor climate. The majority of energy is expended in heating from a cold temperature, or cooling down from a very high temp.
3. Curtains, blinds, window shades. A lot of heat is lost or gained through glass. Simple decorative window solutions can help you manage this heat gain/loss to your advantage.
Energy efficiency: Your appliances are huge culprits in wasteful energy consumption, but with a little attention, you can take matters into your own hands.
4. Dust! Yes, by dusting the vents in your computer’s tower, your stereo equipment, your refrigerator’s coils, you can vastly improve the efficiency of these machines and help them to run better and perform better.
5. Use “green” light bulbs. The green light bulb revolution is already underway. Just jump in and find the products that suit your needs. You’ll find there is more variety now in light color.
6. Replace filters. Whether it’s for your furnace or air conditioner, maintaining clean air filters will support efficient ventilation, maintain your appliances running smoothly, and will provide better air quality in your home. Check on these filters every 3 months for best results.
7. Power strips. Newer “smart” power strips are out on the market. They help in cutting off energy to whatever is plugged in that is not in use. Also, by turning off the strip, it automatically cuts off energy to several appliances at once, when you are not using them or when you are away.
Water efficiency: If you are paying for water utilities and most renters are, these tips will be helpful in savings. Whatever the case may be, lower water consumption is a green initiative and a global concern.
8. Retrofit to a more efficient toilet. There are converter kits for renters that can change your regular toilet into a more efficient “dual-flush” toilet. A small investment will help your save a month or two of water utility bills, annually.
9. Low-flow shower heads. These products provide adequate and strong shower pressure while not wasting as much water.
10. Make use of a humidifier. The quality of the humidity in your apartment can mean big savings in heating during the winter. It’s not only good for your wallet, but also your health. Some modern HVAC systems have a built-in humidifier, otherwise an inexpensive purchase of a portable humidifier will resolve the dry conditions that are harmful to delicate possessions and your body.
These tips should provide inspiration for home improvement projects that are truly worthwhile and that support a better financial outlook, promote good health practices and look out for the environment. Contact us to inquire if your ideas for green changes may or may not be within reason as a renter.