Utility Costs: Which Floor Saves the Most?

October 13th, 2010 by

If you are concerned about utility costs, then the floor you choose to reside on can indeed have a bearing on how much you can end up paying with respect to your utilities, primarily your heating and cooling. Therefore, before you sign a lease and choose an apartment, make sure you are located where you won’t be saddled with an exceptionally high heating or cooling bill.

Heat May Rise but It Can Also Go out the Roof

Most people who live on the top floor of a 3-story building will tell you that their heating and cooling costs can be exorbitantly high. Unfortunately, most apartments are not well-insulated when they are built. Therefore, third-story apartment dwellers feel the effects in the summer as well as the winter. As a result, tenants pay more for both their heating and cooling costs.

Heat rises so cooling is utilized to a greater degree in the summer months. In addition, many third floors include a loft design, which often makes it difficult to keep heating or cooling costs down. Unless you live in a high-rise that offers solid steel construction and good insulation, you will generally pay more on the top floor of an apartment building.

The Second Floor Is Not Much Easier to Keep Cool than the Third Floor

As mentioned, heat rises, so summer utility costs on a second story will generally be higher than they are on the first floor. Utility spending for heating in the winter is generally lower for second-story tenants than third story tenants but is usually higher than the heating costs for first-story apartment dwellers.

First Floor Apartment Residents Typically Enjoy Lower Utility Costs

Although you may not particularly like listening to the foot traffic above you in a first floor apartment, you won’t mind paying less on your utilities. First floor apartment dwellers usually enjoy lower costs for both heating and cooling in their apartment homes. Again, because heat rises, they don’t have to pay as much in the summer to cool their apartments.

Also, lower ceilings, and the carpeting and pads installed on the floors above will help keep the heating contained in the winter months. Dollar for dollar, in a 3-story apartment building, you are better off living on the first floor.

Basement Apartments offer the Best Value for the Money

If you live in a complex which offers basement apartments, then you will definitely pay the lowest amount for cooling or heating your apartment. As the apartment is located underground, you have better insulation. Therefore, you can get by with the minimum amount of usage for heating or cooling.

Utility Costs are also Based on Whether you Use Gas or Electricity

Of course, you should also take into consideration whether you use electricity or gas to heat your apartment. Some people have their heating and water paid, so that also factors into overall cost. Nevertheless, if you want to choose an apartments that will keep what you pay for heating or cooling in a reasonable range, the selection of a first floor or basement apartment is preferred.

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