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How to Be Energy Efficient in a Rental Home

Renting a home really limits your decisions, doesn’t it?  The landlord decides whether or not you can paint, hang pictures on the walls, or switch out things such as cabinet hardware.  And you definitely can’t think about big changes such as pulling up carpet or taking down walls.  Sometimes it feels like all of the rules can really limit your ability to make your rental home more energy efficient.

When renting a home you do not get decide what kind of heating or cooling system is in place.  You do not get decide what kind of thermostat is on the wall, and in certain apartment buildings, you may not even get to decide when the heat gets turned on each fall.  However, that doesn’t mean that you are doomed to living a life of energy inefficiency or that there is no way to decrease your energy bills.  There are still quite a few things you do get to decide in your rental home.

How to Be Energy Efficient in a Rental Home

1. Be Intentional

Everyone should be intentional about energy savings, but without a high efficiency heating and cooling system or programmable thermostat, it is much more important.  Many of the following actions are simple, but when we work on making sure to really implement them there can be quite a bit of saving.

-Change your thermostat during the day when the family is at work or school and set it back in the evenings when everyone is home.  (According to the US Department of Energy, changing your thermostat settings can save you 10% on your heating and cooling bills)

-Be vigilant about turning lights off whenever you leave a room.

-Encourage your family to take shorter showers and to turn off the tap water while brushing their teeth or washing their faces.

2. Use Alternative Forms of Insulation

It may be out of the question for you to add insulation to your rental’s walls or attic, but that doesn’t mean you can’t also reap the benefits of extra insulation.  Thick rugs (especially on wood or concrete floors), bookcases on outside walls, heavy draperies on windows, and tapestries can act as insulators.  Remember, insulation is not only important during the cold months, it is just as helpful during the summertime–keeping hot air outside and cool air inside.

3. Decorate wisely

Even in a rental, you can still make the place unique to you and your style.  As you are doing that, don’t forget to be energy efficiency conscious.  For example, don’t place furniture in front of any vents and use curtains or blinds to help insulate windows.

Looking for more ways to money and energy this winter?  Contact us at FLAME Heating, Cooling, Plumbing, and Electrical!

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