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8 Quick Tips For Saving Money On Your Electric Bill – RENTERS EDITION
Now more than ever people are looking for creative ways to cut back on their utilities and who can blame them in this crazy uncertain world right now.
As a renter myself I have found lots of ways over the years that have saved my family tons on our electric bill. Some of these things you wouldn’t even think would make that much of a difference, like having the right vacuum cleaner.
So today I am going to share with you all of my best tips and tricks for saving money on your electric bill as a renter.
1. Replace Your Air Filter
Did you know that not changing your air filter on a regular basis can increase your energy consumption by 5-15%?
Having a dirty or clogged air filter can block normal airflow which makes your air conditioning system work a whole lot harder. The harder it works the more energy you use which totally makes sense.
I have been guilty a time or two for letting my air filter go waaaaay too long in between changes.
I have noticed a huge difference in the performance of my air conditioner (like how quickly it cools down the house and stays cool) just by keeping up with regular changes every 3-4 months or so.
Changing your air filter is one of those little things that is relatively cheap and very easy to do. Really though, it only takes a few minutes but can make such a huge difference with your energy bill over time.
2. Keep The Thermostat Set To 78 Degrees in The Summer
Ever play battle of the thermostat with your spouse? HA.
I don’t know about you but thermostat wars has been a very real thing between me and my husband every summer for as long as I can remember.
I am happy to say I finally won this battle after we learned that by keeping your thermostat set to 78 degrees in the summer you can lower your energy bill by 10%.
If 78 degrees is way too warm you can utilize ceiling fans ( or standing fans if you don’t have ceiling fans) for extra air circulation and coolness.
3. Add Curtains To Windows in Rooms With Lots of Sunlight
The more direct sunlight a room has the hotter the room will become. This in turn causes you to use more energy to cool down the room whether it be from a fan or AC unit.
In the cooler months, it will be the opposite. You will want to keep the blinds and curtains open to warm the room instead of using the heater.
An interesting tip is that the color of the curtains does matter! Darker color curtains tend to absorb heat which can make a room hotter while lighter colored curtains reflect heat.
4. Seal Air Leaks From Drafty Windows & Doors
If you’ve ever rented an older home you know how big of a problem this can be. In fact, I currently live in a home where this has been the case and it has made a negative impact on my electric bill before I knew how to fix the problem.
As a renter, you aren’t going to spend time and money replacing windows and doors or filling in cracks and gaps.
And landlords aren’t always willing to put up with that expense either.
But having drafty windows or doors can really affect your energy consumption which only ends up increasing your bill up to 20% to be exact.
5. Unplug Electronics When They Aren’t In Use
This is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to save money on your electric bill.
Unplugging electronics when they aren’t in use can save you up to $40 a year. The thing is when something is still plugged in it is still drawing power from it.
It’s not just from TVs, and toasters either.
Things like leaving your hair straightener plugged in all day or your phone charger next to your bed are a few of those forgotten devices that are costing you more day after day.
For my kitchen appliances, I always put them away when I am not using them as opposed to leaving them on the counter. I find that when I put them away it not only helps with clutter but I don’t forget to unplug them.
For bigger electronic devices like TVs and computers, you can add a power strip for easy turning off or on or add smart plugs/smart strips to those devices if you tend to have a habit of forgetting.
We absolutely love our google mini because you can set timers and schedules to your smart plugs which will turn the outlet completely off when you want it to. Even if you didn’t want it on a timer you can control the outlet from your phone even if you aren’t home.
6. Avoid Using Energy Using Peak Times
Peak times are a particular time of day when using electricity will cost you more. Typically that’s between 5-8 pm.
By avoiding using the dishwasher, running a load of laundry, using the air conditioning, etc during those peak hours you can lower your energy bill.
If you can do these tasks during off peak hours it will save you a bunch of money over time.
Recently, I learned that even vacuuming during peak hours can increase your bill. I had no idea that many vacuums carry such a high wattage. A
Higher wattage than most washing machines.
A few years ago I bought a robot vacuum (on a crazy sale around the holidays) to help maintain the floors in between my deep cleans. By having it run during off-peak times I can avoid paying for the extra energy.
7. Use Your Instant Pot Instead Of The Oven
You can save a ton on energy costs just by using your instant pot. This is great news to me because I absolutely love my instant pot and use it almost weekly.
This is possible because instant pots using a lot less energy than an oven. In addition to using less energy, they cut the cooking time down by a tremendous amount.
Using less energy, using fewer dishes, and much faster cook times is right up my alley.
If you don’t have an instant pot or don’t want to buy one you can also batch cook for the week.
By taking one day out of the week to cook for the entire week you will limit how much you have to use your stove and oven.
Reheating pre-cooked food in a microwave uses a lot less energy than using your oven and stove daily.
8. Check With Your Local Energy Offices For Discounts
This is one of those best kept secrets when it comes to saving money on energy that most people don’t know about.
Depending on your income and the area you live in you can get discounts on your energy bill.
In California, they offer something called CARE/FERA which is basically a discount on your monthly bill if your income falls within a certain guideline.
If you qualify for something like this in your state it is an easy way to reduce your energy bill without having to make any changes.
Every little bit helps!