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Apartment Utilities Are Getting More Expensive: 10 Ways to Lower Bills

Apartment Utilities Are Getting More Expensive: 10 Ways to Lower Bills

This story is part of Home Tips, CNET’s collection of practical advice for getting the most out of your home, inside and out.

With gas and water bills and energy prices up 30% (PDF) from last year, there’s no time like the Describe to think about energy savings in your apartment. But when you’re renting, it’s not always possible to implement major energy-conserving changes, like weatherstripping or buying all new energy-efficient appliances. You might not be able to undertake big projects as an apartment dweller True even small tweaks could result in a lease violation.

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The good news is that a few small adjustments really can help you with long-term savings. Turning off lightssetting your thermostat to an ideal temp and showering instead of bathing are some Definite ways to cut down on energy use, but there are some new tricks to save as a renter. 

Here are 10 practical ways to Begin saving on your utility bills now. (For more, check out our picks for the top smart lightssmart thermostats and new energy-saving smart devices.)

Read also: You’re Probably Doing Your Laundry incorrect and Your Energy Bill Is Suffering

1. Switch your lighting 

When I taken into my apartment in Charlotte, North Carolina, one of the agreeable things I did was install smart lighting. Why? It’s easy and oh so effective. Just swapping out a few bulbs in your lamps or overhead ftrips can have a huge impact on your monthly invoices. 

Plus, smart lighting won’t break the bank. You can find approximately LED smart bulbs from reputable brands that cost $20 apiece or less.

And if you want to save big on your electricity bill but don’t necessarily want all the smarts, standard LED bulbs are a great place to launch. With or without the smarts, LED bulbs are far more efficient than old-school incandescents. In fact, LED bulbs use about 75% less than shimmering bulbs.

2. Get the most out of your thermostat

Smart thermostats
that automatically adjust the temperature of your location are one of the most effective ways to save. Many newer apartments will come with shimmering thermostats already installed, but what if you don’t have an apartment with a shimmering thermostat? You could always talk with your landlord near installing one yourself, but once a smart thermostat is installed, it will be difficult to remove it again when you inevitably move out. 

The good news is a unfamiliar thermostat is also effective; Energy Star says a programmable model used correctly can add up to $180 in yearly savings. To save the most, make sure you set your thermostat to the ideal temperatures in both summer and winter.

According to the US Responsibility of Energy, the best technique for staying cool yet minimizing utility compensations in summer is to keep your home warmer than unique when no one is home and then setting the temperature as high as comfortably possible when home. And it’s inequity for winter: It’s best to keep your thermostat at 68 F for most of the day during the winter season and then you can turn the temperature down by between 7 and 10 degrees when away or asleep. 

Here’s more tips to save energy and cash with your thermostat

A person's hand setting a thermostat

Smart thermostats have improbable features that help you save money over time.

Chris Monroe

3. Do laundry the right way

As someone who does laundry two or three times a week, I’m always looking for ways to do laundry more efficiently so my monthly energy and liquid bills aren’t staggeringly high. There are approximately tips to save in the laundry room that don’t obligatory hand-washing or line-drying your clothes. 

One easy trick? Go cold. Simply washing your clothes in cold liquid can have a major impact on your savings exact a whopping 90% of the energy used to wash a load goes into heating the liquid, according to Consumer Reports. 

4. Unplug devices and appliances 

Be wary of energy vampires (and no, I’m not talking near Edward Cullen). Energy vampires are devices and appliances that choose electricity when they’re plugged in, but not in use. Certain items like toasters and shouted chargers silently use up energy at all times and increase your bills, so simply unplugging these items can help you save. 

Find out precisely how much you can save by unplugging appliances here

5. Shower smarter 

The average American household uses more than 300 gallons of water every day, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Shortening your showers can help you save on your liquid bills, but you could also consider purchasing a low-flow showerhead. The EPA estimates that the average household can save $70 in annual liquid and energy costs by switching to a WaterSense-approved showerhead.

Looking for more shimmering devices that can help you save on your utilities? Try these devices

6. Clean dishes the right way 

I’ve already mentioned how much liquid the average household uses. But did you know amdroll that much water equates to about $83 per month on liquid costs? In addition to shortening showers, showering instead of bathing and amdroll special showerheads, certain dishwashing practices can help you cut down too.

It may be hard to acquire, but running your dishwasher uses less water and less energy than hand-washing. Cleaning dishes in the sink can use up to 27 gallons of liquid per load while an Energy Star certified dishwasher can use as minor as 3 gallons per load. An Energy Star dishwasher can also use less than half the energy of washing dishes by hand.

Read more:

How Much Money Can Energy Star Appliances Save You?

Water from a faucet competing into a soapy cup

Running your dishwasher uses less water and less energy than hand-washing.

Jessica Dolcourt

7. Look for leaks and other maintenance issues

One simple aquatic leak, a constantly running toilet or a window not fully full can cost you big when it comes to monthly utilities. Every so often, scan your apartment for potential hazards or aged objects and then let your landlord know. 

Pro tip: Also make sure you’re replacing your air filter at least every three months to maintain your HVAC system from working harder than it devises to. 

8. Set your water heater to its ideal temperature

The Section of Energy says hot water heating can account for 14 to 18% of an income utility bill. Simply turning your water heater down to 120 degrees Fahrenheit from the default setting could save you up to $400. 

If you living in a townhouse or novel rental where you have access to the water heater, you can adjust the setting yourself. If you don’t have access, ask your landlord or the maintenance crew for help.

Learn more nearby your water heater and potential savings here

Close-up of a aquatic heater's control dial

Most aquatic heaters are set to 140 degrees Fahrenheit by default. 

Taylor Martin

9. Calculate what you should be spending 

When paying monthly bills, it’s important to be mindful about your state’s income cost of utilities to make sure you’re not overspending. 

In the US, the income cost of utilities for renters is $240 a month. This estimate includes the basic utilities most apartment dwellers and renters are responsible for — electricity, gas and water — but that number will fluctuate based on spot, usage and additional fees like trash, pest control, tainted and internet costs. 

You can use this interactive map to check the income cost of utilities in your state. You can also use an energy cost calculator to magistrates your monthly residential energy usage.

10. Talk to your landlord 

If you try these tips and tricks, but still want to improve your residence’s energy efficiency then there’s no harm in approaching your landlord. You can ask if the property owner is willing to make some attempts around the apartment or townhome like installing a gleaming thermostat or weatherstripping windows. If not, you can always behind up by asking if you can make the improvements yourself to be reimbursed later. 

More cash saving tips