Whether you live in an apartment building or a suite in a home, as a renter there are many things you can do to improve the energy efficiency of your home. This in turn can improve the comfort of your home, and potentially help to lower your energy bills.
Simple Water Conservation Measures
Installing efficient showerheads and tap aerators will help you cut down on the amount of water you use, without sacrificing water pressure and provide you with the most cost effective option for reducing home energy bills. If you live in an income-qualifying household, you can receive a free Energy Saving Kit, or participate in the Energy Conservation Assistance Program. These programs provide free energy saving products, including water-efficient showerheads and kitchen and bathroom faucet aerators.
Energy Efficient Lighting
LED bulbs use less power and are available in a variety of shades, shapes and sizes, and last 10-25 times longer than traditional bulbs. As you purchase new lights, consider buying the high efficiency LED lighting to save money on your electricity bill. Be sure to keep your bulbs clean, as dust will reduce light output.
Draftproofing for Savings and Comfort
Draftproofing is a home energy upgrade that can be cost effective for lowering home energy bills and improving home comfort. See the FAQs, Where do I start to reduce drafts and improve my home? and What are the benefits of draftproofing?
Tips to Maximize Efficient Heating
Renters are not likely to replace space heating equipment, but there are ways to ensure that your heating system is operating effectively – saving you money and enhancing comfort.
To not restrict the flow of heat in your home (and for safety reasons) do not place beds, drapery and furniture too close to baseboard heaters or radiators and do not cover floor or wall heating vents with furniture. Heat only the rooms you’re using. Lower the thermostat if you have baseboard heaters in rooms you’re not using. A minimum of once per year, vacuum your baseboards to ensure they are working effectively.
Tips to Keep You Cool
There are several cost effective options to help you keep your home cool when the temperature outside rises. In the early morning and once the sun goes down, open your windows and or doors to let cool air in. During the heat of the day, keep your windows, curtains and blinds closed to prevent the sun and warm exterior air from heating up your house. Use a fan to help circulate air. If you have a ceiling fan, set it to summer mode (counter-clockwise as you look up at it) to move the air downward to create a wind chill effect.
The Energy Conservation Assistance Program provides a free in-home visit with free energy-saving product installation, as well as advice and tips for how you can improve your home’s efficiency. The free Energy Saving Kit Program provides free energy saving products you can install yourself.
Did you see a building science or energy efficiency term you did not understand? Check out our glossary.