As the temperature increases this summer, help residents stay cool and reduce electric bills with these low-cost to no-cost energy saving tips.
- Reduce appliance usage to stay cool.
- Grill outdoors. Save energy by firing up the grill outdoors or prepare meals that don’t require cooking.
- Only run dishwashers or washing machines when they’re full.
- Unplug and turn off appliances when they’re not in use.
- Replace incandescent bulbs with energy efficient lighting options. LEDs use up to 90% less energy than traditional bulbs and last at least 15 times longer.
- Become a fan of the fan.
- Use fans in occupied rooms. They circulate air to supplement air conditioning. Make sure ceiling fans are set to operate in a counterclockwise direction.
- Paired with air conditioning, a fan can allow you to raise the thermostat setting by a few degrees and still stay comfortable.
- For apartment units with windows on opposite ends, take advantage of passive cooling and use fans in windows to pull cool air in and draw warm air out.
- Run cooktop and bathroom fans when you’re cooking or bathing to vent heat and moisture.
- Keep hot air out and cool air in.
- Seal air leaks with caulk and weather stripping. Keep doors and windows closed as much as possible to keep the cool air inside.
- Close windows and blinds during the day. Open them at night or in the morning to let cool air in.
- Use light-colored window coverings to reflect heat away.
- Consider adding a low-emission film to window panes to reduce the amount of heat that enters your apartment.
- Maximize your air conditioner.
- Turn thermostats off at night and when you’re away from home.
- Set your thermostat to the highest comfortable temperature setting. Every one-degree increase in temperature reduces cooling costs by approximately 5%. The US Department of Energy recommends a minimum set point of 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Change or clean air filters monthly. A dirty air filter can make a cooling system work harder, which uses more energy.
- Place electronics and appliances away from the thermostat. The heat they produce can cause the air conditioner to work harder than necessary.
Further Reading on Energy Saving
- Austin Energy: https://savings.austinenergy.com/rebates/multifamily/learn/tips-for-residents/multifamily-tips
- Duke Energy: https://news.duke-energy.com/releases/releases-20170622-6327307
- EPA ENERGY STAR: https://www.energystar.gov/products/top_10_tips_renters
- Energy Trust of Oregon: https://www.energytrust.org/2019/05/10/cool-off-and-save-energy-at-home-with-these-five-tips/
- Oregon Department of Energy: https://www.oregon.gov/energy/save-energy/Pages/Heating-Cooling.aspx
- Tucson Electric Power: https://www.tep.com/residential-energy-saving-tips/
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