Energy Savers for Renters – Part 3

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This is the last in a three part series for renters who want to save money by using less energy.

If your lease does not provide for air conditioning but you are allowed to add your own portable air conditioner unit, select an energy efficient model that is correctly sized for your needs. Look for the Energy Star logo and buy a model with an Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) of at least 10.7. Selecting the right size air conditioner is also important. Know the square footage of the space you want to cool to ensure you will buy the correct size for your needs. Choosing the incorrect size unit for your space can create moisture problems in your home.

Ventilation fans will assist in removing moisture in bathrooms and kitchen spaces. Run them only as long as necessary to remove moisture. Running fans longer will cause you to waste energy and air that you have already cooled or warmed by leaking it to the outdoors.

Closely managing your thermostat is an easy way to increase your energy savings. Follow these tips:

  • Set the thermostat as high as you can in summer while still maintaining comfort, and set the thermostat as low as comfortable in winter while still maintaining comfort.
  • If you have central air conditioning and heating, keep the fan switch on “auto”.
  • For heating and cooling systems other than heat pumps, manually set the temperature even higher (in summer) or lower (in winter) if you are going to be away from the house or apartment for an hour or more. It will not take long to heat or cool your house or apartment back to a comfortable temperature later.
  • If your home or apartment does not have a programmable thermostat, talk to your landlord about installing one. A programmable thermostat will allow you to set different temperatures at different times of the day, saving energy and money.

Save energy in the kitchen

  • When cooking small meals, use a microwave, crockpot, toaster oven, or other small appliance
  • Always use the smallest pot or pan necessary for the cooking job.
  • Match the pan size to the heating element on the range.
  • Reduce cooking time by defrosting food in the refrigerator first (never on the counter!)
  • Avoid opening the oven door while cooking

Save energy in the laundry room

  • Wash in cold water whenever possible
  • Load the washer to capacity
  • Don’t over dry clothes
  • Dry two or more loads in a row
  • Clean dryer filter after each use
  • Dry full loads
  • Clean dryer exhaust vent regularly
  • Hang clothes outside to dry when possible

Save energy washing dishes

  • Use energy saving cycles on the dishwasher
  • Use the no-heat dry cycle
  • Don’t pre-rinse dirty dishes
  • Always wash full loads
  • Load dishes according to manufacturer instructions to ensure optimal cleaning

Tips for buying Energy Star Appliances:

When purchasing a TV, or entertainment devices, look for the Energy Star logo and then find a model that consumes less energy. Go to the Energy Star website at www.energystar.gov for more information about Energy Star guidelines.

With some thought and a little effort, you can save money and energy – even in your rental home. Even if only a few of these ideas are implemented you and your family will be reducing energy consumption while saving dollars!

Adapted from: Georgia Cooperative Extension