As a renter, finding ways to save money on apartment utilities is a great way to reduce your expenses when living in an apartment.
By reducing your energy and water consumption, you can free up additional money each month to pay toward debt or increase your savings.
But how, exactly, can you save money on utilities when living in an apartment?
Well, for the rest of this guide, we’re going to cover 12 of the best ways to cut the cost of your apartment utilities and save some serious cash.
Let’s dive in!
1. Use Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs
Apartment complexes typically provide the cheapest versions of light bulbs available.
Unfortunately, these are usually the least energy efficient.
So, if you are looking to reduce your electric bill, you can upgrade your lights to LED bulbs.
Not only will this lower your electric bill, but the bulbs will last significantly longer.
One thing to keep in mind is that LED light bulbs have a higher upfront cost. For that reason, we recommend removing all of the LEDs and taking them with you when it comes time for you to move out.
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2. Control The Temperature
Heating and cooling are two of the biggest expenses when it comes to your utility bills. So, if you don’t manage your thermostat properly, you can end up paying an excessive amount of money each month.
With that in mind, think about ways that you can limit the need for you to run your furnace or air conditioner.
Whether that means opening your windows in the summer or wearing warmer clothes in the winter, small changes like these can save you a boatload of cash throughout the year.
Oh, and when you do need to run your furnace or air conditioner, try to keep your thermostat set between 70 to 78 degrees to maintain optimum energy efficiency.
You can also turn the unit off or adjust the temperature for when you plan to be away from home.
On another note, more and more apartment complexes are upgrading their units with programmable or smart thermostats. So, if your unit has one, be sure to learn how to use it properly.
This can help you control the temperature of your apartment throughout the day without having to think about it.
If your unit doesn’t have one, you might ask your landlord if they would be willing to upgrade yours. On average, a programable thermostat costs between $100 to $200, but they can save you quite a bit of money in the long run.
3. Unplug Unused Appliances
A lot of people don’t realize that appliances and electronics still consume energy when they are turned off.
In fact, some studies estimate that up to 20 percent of your monthly energy bill comes from these “energy vampires” that literally drain energy slowly from your outlets.
This can add up to a few hundred dollars each year.
And the larger the appliance, the more passive energy it will drain.
Therefore, if you want to save money on apartment utilities, take a walk through your space and unplug any items that you don’t use on a regular basis.
You can also buy smart power strips that automatically shut off the energy flow after the devices plugged into them go unused for a certain amount of time.
4. Request New Seals Around Doors And Windows
If you live in an older or drafty apartment, you might request that your landlord seal or install weather stripping around all the windows and doors.
Doing so will help maintain the temperature of your apartment and require you to spend less money to heat or cool it.
This is a great item to request as a condition of moving into the unit.
5. Replace HVAC Filters
Having a clean filter in your HVAC system allows the air to flow more freely. Thus, your system won’t have to work as hard and you won’t have to spend as much money.
So, if you’re looking for ways to save money on apartment utilities, we recommend changing your air filter every 3 months. Actually, we recommend asking your landlord to change the filter every 3 months (so you don’t have to pay for the filters).
6. Use Your Washing Machine Efficiently
Each time you do a load of laundry, your washing machine and dryer uses electricity, water, and gas (if you have a gas dryer).
This can be a triple whammy to your utility bills.
Fortunately, there are some simple practices to reduce this cost.
First, don’t run partial loads of laundry.
You might think about throwing in a small load of laundry so that your favorite shirt is clean for date night. The problem is that a small load of laundry uses about the same amount of energy as a full load.
By waiting until you have enough dirty laundry for a full load, you are saving yourself both time and money.
You can also give your water heater a break by washing clothes in cold water.
If the weather is nice, you can hang your clothes outside to air dry. This can help you avoid the cost of running your dryer.
7. Save Money On Washing Dishes
Running a dishwasher uses both electricity and water.
So, just like washing your clothes, you should avoid running your dishwasher until you have a full load.
Oh, and try to handwash large items such as pots and pans. These large items take up too much space in your dishwasher requiring you to run more loads of dishes.
8. Reduce Water Consumption
In addition to changing your habits with your washing machine and dishwasher, there are plenty of other ways to save on the amount of water that you use each month.
For example, you can limit the amount of time you (and the rest of your family) spend in the shower.
Placing an egg timer in the bathroom is a cheap way to remind the kids when it’s time to get out.
You can also talk to your landlord about replacing your faucets and showerheads with slow flow versions to automatically reduce water consumption.
If you have an outdoor space, try to avoid using the garden hose to clean off your balcony or patio. Using a broom can be just as effective and requires no water.
9. Adjust The Temperature of Your Refrigerator and Freezer
The temperature settings on your refrigerator and freezer can have a big impact on your electricity bill.
So, rather than keeping them on the coldest possible settings, aim to keep your fridge between 35 and 38 degrees, and your freezer between 0 and 5 degrees.
This might seem insignificant, but it is actually a great way to save money on apartment utilities.
10. Avoid Peak Energy Hours
Electricity rates change throughout the day. And the hours that experience the highest usage, also known as “peak hours,” are the most expensive.
By understanding the peak hour schedule for your local utility company, you can avoid running your utilities at those times of day, and thus, reduce your cost of utilities.
Typically, the middle of the day is the most expensive, while early mornings and evenings are cheaper.
Once you know the schedule, you can adjust your energy consumption to happen outside of this window.
11. Turn Off Lights and Fans When You Leave
The next time that you are leaving your apartment, stop and take a quick walk through your unit and turn off all the lights and fans.
Running lights and fans when you away provide no benefit and only increase your electric bill.
Seriously, if you make this a consistent part of your daily routine, you can save quite a bit of money on your electricity bill in an apartment.
12. Do A Utility Consumption Audit
Evaluating your utility consumption is a one of the most important things you can do if you want to save money in an apartment.
To do so, sit down and make a list of all your utilities.
Next to each of these utilities, write down the activities, appliances, fixtures, and electronics that contribute to the cost of your bill.
After that, write down things that you can do to reduce or eliminate the cost of each of these factors, and try them out for a month.
Finally, once you have implemented these changes or new habits, make sure to evaluate the financial impact of your effort over the following months.
By assessing these results, you’ll gain much better insight into how your utility consumption behavior impacts your finances.
There are tons of great ways to save money on apartment utilities.
From taking shorter showers to turning off your furnace and air conditioner during peak hours, the tips in this article can save you quite a bit of money.
Now, all you have to do is give them a try!
Oh, and if you have any other tips for saving money on utilities in an apartment, be sure to drop them in the comments below.