With energy costs rising, it’s important to look for ways to conserve energy. Analyzing your use of electricity holds clues for how you can save money.
Why Conserve Energy?
Worldwide, people are adopting modern lifestyles, causing energy to become scarce. When more people want something, and it’s in short supply, prices go up. Our energy-dependent lifestyles also take a toll on the environment. So, to save money and protect the environment, you’d be wise to look for ways to conserve energy.
Primary Uses of Electricity
The bulk of your electricity use falls into several categories:
- Air conditioning
Concentrating on these items will reap the biggest savings on your electricity bill.
Saving Electricity When Using Refrigerators
As an apartment dweller, you probably won’t have any say in the refrigerator purchase since most apartments have a refrigerator in the kitchen when you move in. But, you can conserve energy in the way you use the refrigerator. For instance, never set the temperature lower than 36 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Purchase a refrigerator thermometer to measure the temperature associated with the setting you’ve chosen. Adjust the refrigerator’s setting until the temperature falls into the desirable range.
Open the refrigerator as infrequently as possible. When preparing meals, determine what you need from the refrigerator and take everything out at once. Instead of reaching into the refrigerator each time you want a cold drink, consider using a thermos to keep your beverage cold, or invest in a cooler for cooling soda or juice cans to drink throughout the day.
Using Lights Wisely
Get into the habit of thinking about your lights. Begin by replacing regular light bulbs with compact fluorescents bulbs. Compact fluorescents use 75% less energy than regular bulbs. They also last ten times longer. Purchase name brand bulbs because cheap bulbs burn out quickly, making them a bad investment.
After replacing your bulbs, make a habit of turning off the lights every time you leave a room. Contrary to popular myths, turning on a light does not draw more electricity. So, the practice of turning a light off and on again will not drive up your bill. The opposite is true: turning lights off, even if you’re only leaving the room for a few minutes, will save electricity.
Conserving on Air Conditioning and Heating
Cooling a room uses a lot of electricity. If you purchase a window air conditioning unit, look for the smallest size capable of cooling the space you’re buying it for. Buy one with an EnergyStar label. Whether you have central air conditioning or a window unit, turn the air conditioning off whenever you go out. Lower the setting or turn off the air conditioning at night.
When using electricity for heat, buy a portable heater to heat the room you’re in. This allows you to turn down your apartment’s heat and still stay warm.
General Electricity Conservation
Unplug items that draw electricity when turned off including:
- DVD players
- Plug-in adapters
By being conscious of your electricity use and consistent in how you use it, you can lower your electricity bill and help protect the environment.
Lisa Bernstein: As a long-time apartment dweller and seasoned condominium trustee, I have dealt with numerous landlord-tenant, property management, and day-to-day apartment complex issues. My extensive, direct experience has led to invaluable insights into apartment life from both the tenant and management perspectives.