Between the cost of rent and utilities, it can be quite expensive to lease an apartment. So, it’s no surprise that tenants are always looking for a way to cut back on costs.
If you pay for your own utilities, you already know that winter heating bills can put a big damper on your finances. When the temperature dips outside, we tend to crank up the heat. Ultimately, that leads to bigger heating bills—something that no one enjoys.
Fortunately, there are some simple tricks that you can use to decrease your utility bill. Check out these five expert secrets to lowering your apartment heating bills this winter!
#1 Adjust Your Thermostat
As a tenant, you don’t have the option to install energy-efficient windows or a new heating system. You’re pretty much stuck with whatever is already there.
But you do have control over your thermostat, and knowing how to set it is one of the easiest ways to reduce heating costs.
It can be tempting to turn up the heat to 76 degrees to get your apartment nice and toasty. But that’s about the worst thing you can do for your wallet. Experts say that you can save a significant amount of money by keeping your thermostat set to 68 degrees.
If that’s too chilly for you, turn it up to 72 degrees. Anything higher than that will waste a lot of energy (and cost a lot of money).
Can’t bring yourself to turn the heat down that low? Try reducing the temperature by 1 degree each week. If you start the season at 72 degrees and turn it down one degree per week for the first month, you’ll be at the recommended 68 degrees in no time. And you won’t have to freeze in the process!
#2 Cover Your Air Conditioner
In the winter, cold wind and drafts that flow in from the outside are your worst enemy. One way that cold air seeps in is through air-conditioning units.
If you have a window AC unit in your apartment, cover it! This is an inexpensive fix that helps to prevent cold air from finding its way into your toasty apartment.
If you live on the first floor and have easy access to the window unit from outside, you can buy an outdoor air conditioner cover.
Do you live on the second floor or are unable to access your unit from outside? Invest in an indoor A/C cover instead. You can find a decorative indoor cover for just $16.99 on Amazon.
#3 Add Foam Insulation Gaskets in Outlets
Unless you’re an electrician, you’ve probably never removed the plates that cover your outlets and electrical switches.
Well, guess what? Behind each plate is a gap in the wall. And, like faulty windows and AC units, those gaps allow heat to escape.
For a few pennies, you can add a foam insulation gasket behind each wall plate to keep the cold air outside and the warm air inside.
Insulation gaskets are thin pieces of foam. They’re cut to fit all different types of plate covers, such as double sockets, single switches, and dimmer switches.
Not only are they super affordable, but they’re incredibly easy to install. Just unscrew the cover plate, put the foam gasket around the outlet, and reattach the plate. As long as you have a screwdriver, it will only take a few seconds to attach each one.
#4 Add Draft Stoppers Beneath Your Doors
When it’s cold outside, those little gaps at the bottom of your door can make it so your apartment never feels as warm as you’d like. So unless your door is perfectly flush with the floor, it’s time to invest in a draft stopper.
Draft stoppers are made from a piece of insulated fabric that wraps around your door. This prevents air from passing through the crack at the bottom.
And these aren’t just for winter use, either. In the summer months, they’ll keep that cold, A/C air from leaving the house.
Draft stoppers are incredibly affordable. You can find them for as little as $8 at Lowe’s.
Most measure about three feet wide, which is more than enough to fit the width of a standard door. Just cut the foam to your desired length, slip it inside the fabric sleeve, and slide it onto the bottom of your door. It’s as simple as that!
#5 Reposition Your Furniture
It’s common to position couches, bookcases, and end tables up against the wall, especially in a small apartment. But if you have baseboard heat or floor vents, it’s quite possible that your furniture is covering your vents.
Know where your vents are and make sure that your furniture isn’t blocking them. If need be, take this opportunity to rearrange your furniture a bit! You can give your apartment a fresh new look and expose those vents properly so you can pay less for heat.
Pulling couches, table legs, and chairs just a few inches away from the wall can make your apartment feel a lot warmer and cozier.
Nobody enjoys spending their hard-earned money on gas, electricity, or heat. So this fall, take a few hours to winterize your apartment. It’ll help you reduce those heating bills as much as possible during the coming months.
Adjust your thermostat to the lowest temperature you’re comfortable with. Cover your air conditioner and install draft stoppers on your doors. Attach foam insulation gaskets behind your outlet plate covers to prevent your heat from leaking out.
Identify where your vents are and make sure your furniture isn’t blocking them. If they are blocked, rearrange your furniture and give your apartment a new look that allows for better circulation.
You can do all of these things for less than $30, and most of them take less than an hour. Try them out, and by the end of the month, you could see a drastic difference in your heating bill!
Ryan Sundling is a Group Marketing Manager at Cardinal Group Management. Besides, he has more than 9 years of experience and knowledge in the student housing field and works with The Union at Auburn on a regular basis to help them with their marketing efforts.