Things to Remember as a Renter that will get you the Cheapest Energy Supplier
Apartment dwellers often feel powerless when it comes to reducing their electric bills through energy-efficient improvements. However, there are options available in order for renters to lower their monthly electric bills – some of which are right under their noses.
Having a vaulted ceiling gives a home a more open feel, with plenty of free space and the possibility of natural light. But with more open space comes the dilemma of filling that space with heat, air conditioning and light.
People who decide they must have vaulted ceilings for aesthetic purposes should communicate with their community leasing agent. High ceilings can be an extremely appealing feature, as long as they don’t cause the utility bills to hit the roof. The cost of utilities is another big bill that’s easy to downsize if you move to a smaller place. If you’ve got less space to heat or cool, you should end up with more money in your pocket at the end of the month.
Ceiling fans are important appliances in homes with vaulted ceilings. While the fans won’t adjust the actual temperature in the room, the circulation will give the feel of the room achieving a temperature a couple of degrees warmer in the winter, and cooler during the summer. Thus, a slight temperature change on an air conditioner or thermostat can be made to achieve the same level of comfort without raising the gas and electric bills. Remember to adjust your ceiling fan to rotate counterclockwise to bring the rising heat back down to you.
Exact height is also important when choosing your apartment. Not all vaulted ceilings are the same height, and a lower maximum ceiling height will obviously reduce an electric bill significantly. Ask the leasing agents and rental locators what the tallest point in the ceiling is, and compare with other apartments offering vaulted ceilings.
The appliance will usually be included with an apartment. And with the country “going green,” many will even be energy efficient. “Eco-friendly”, “sustainable” and “green” are terms often used to describe real estate with environmentally friendly architecture that can reduce energy and water use and improve the quality of life of its inhabitants. The greening of a building can come from a number of design techniques including recycled rainwater, solar chimneys, rooftop gardens, geothermal cooling systems, natural ventilation, passive or active solar, tankless water heaters, double-paned windows, reclaimed wood, Energy Star appliances, low-flow toilets and low-water-use landscaping. While sustainable construction is one of the fastest-growing segments of the commercial building industry, only a small percentage of buildings going up are actually green. The buildings that do meet green standards save significantly on energy costs, a benefit that is likely to become more attractive as the cost of non-renewable energy sources continues to increase. When speaking to the leasing agent in the apartment community’s office, go beyond the basics of asking if the unit has energy-efficient appliances – ask about the wattage used by the appliances (dishwasher, stove, microwave, air conditioner, heater and refrigerator).
If the apartment complex will not provide the wattage information to you, ask for model numbers and do the research for yourself. The lower the wattage on each unit, the less electricity the appliances uses and the lower your utility bills will be.
Apartments with large windows (and plenty of them) can both help and hurt an electric bill, depending on the season and temperature. On one hand, light fixtures and lamps aren’t needed during the day, due to natural light, but that may likely cause an increase in necessary air conditioning.
Caulk and weather stripping will help keep outside air from getting in. It takes more effort for an air conditioner or heater to work if the windows and doors have air leaks around the edges. Ask leasing agents about how often (or if) the maintenance team checks for air leaks.
Window coverings in the form of blinds and curtains will help block energy leakage. Make sure your next home has window coverings installed.
If an apartment community advertises a soundproof apartment, there is a hidden message in the ad – heavily insulated walls. In order for apartments to not transfer sound between units, there has to be a thick, well-insulated wall to prevent the neighbors’ blasting stereo from intruding on your reading time. Heavy insulations help keep both air conditioning and heat within the walls of the home.
You don’t have to own a home to make energy-efficiency choices. You can find an apartment community in which management has made responsible energy choices and where you can choose the cheapest energy supplier, so you can focus on enjoying your new home, instead of figuring out how to pay a pricey electric bill.