Lowering your monthly utility costs can be as easy as acquiring some habits and a few simple lifestyle changes. Here are some energy conservation tips and some simple ways to reduce your monthly utility bills.
- Keeping your shower time under 5 minutes could save up to 1,000 gallons a month.
- Put food coloring in your toilet tank. If it seeps into the toilet bowl, you just discovered a leak. Having a slow leak repaired could save around 600 gallons a month. (A toilet flapper stuck in a wide open position could waste around 3,000 gallons per day!)
- Have leaky faucets repaired and can save over 500 gallons a month.
- Turn off the water while brushing your teeth and save 4 gallons a minute. That equates to 400 gallons a month for an apartment of two.
- Turn off the water while you shave and save more than 400 gallons a month.
- Plug the bathtub before adjusting the temperature as the tub fills up.
- During warm or hot months, close the windows and doors early in the day to “keep cool air in,” particularly when an air-conditioner is running.
- Raise the thermostat setting on your air-conditioner 5° to 6° F when you leave during the day. There is no reason to keep the residence in a frigid state while you are gone during the day, but do not turn the air off on very hot days – it will only take longer and more energy to cool down.
- Turn the air conditioner off when you are not at home. Also, raise the thermostat setting on your air conditioner 5° to 6° F.
- Turn on fans, rather than air-conditioners, to circulate air.
- Close shades and curtains, especially on the sunny side of the apartment; this can keep the heat out and lower the temperature dramatically during the day.
- If you use an air purifier, put it on a timer so it only runs at night.
- Limit the use of small appliances during the day – especially heat producing appliances (such as toasters, coffee makers, electric fryers or griddles, hair dryers, curling irons, etc.)
- Turn the lights off when you leave a room.
- Replace incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs where bulbs are on a lot of the time.
- Minimize the amount of time doors are open on your refrigerator and freezer.
- Turn off home computers and televisions when not in use.
- Promptly turn-off kitchen ventilating fans off when not in use.
Oil and Natural Gas Conservation
- During the colder months, remove window air-conditioning units and keep all windows and doors tightly and fully closed. Lock the windows to ensure they are fully closed.
- Keep your thermostat setting as low as you can during the heating season, without being too uncomfortable.
- Lower the thermostat to 68° during the day. Turning down the heat just a few degrees can significantly reduce your energy bill. You could save from 3% to 5% on your heating costs for each degree lowered.
- Lower the thermostat even further while sleeping. Turn the heat down during the night and use warm covers and comforters and any time that you leave your apartment for more than an hour.
- When away for an extended period, lower the thermostat to 50°.
- Pay no attention to the old myth that it is better to keep a thermostat at a constant setting, BUT REMEMBER TO NEVER SET YOUR THERMOSTAT ABOVE THE DESIRED TEMPERATURE EVEN FOR A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME. This over-heating may cost you.
- Allow sunlight to enter your apartment during the day by raising blinds or opening curtains.
- Close heavy drapes to add insulation.