How to Save on Heating Costs in an Apartment
When you rent, it isn’t always possible to make significant changes to the HVAC system in your home to improve its efficiency. Rather than bust your budget on heating bills, try some time-tested tricks that keep home and wallet comfortable. Download our step-by-step checklist for improving the heating costs in your apartments! 7 Tips for Reducing Heating Costs in Apartments (913 downloads)
7 Tips for Reducing Heating Costs in Portland Apartments
1. Turn down the thermostat.
For every degree you lower the thermostat, you’ll experience a savings of 1 percent on your power bill. Turning down the heat doesn’t mean you have to freeze—throw on a sweater and a cozy pair of socks.
Take this a step further and turn down the thermostat a few degrees before going to bed or leaving your home. If the rental has a programmable thermostat, program it to raise and lower the temperatures automatically. If your home has an older thermostat, ask your landlord about upgrading it to a programmable one, as it will help minimize future HVAC repair and replacement costs.
2. Use a towel warmer in the bathroom.
Pamper yourself with a towel warmer that rewards you with a toasty towel and robe after you finish bathing. The warmer can also double as small space heater, which will help you feel more comfortable if the bathroom feels chilly.
Towel warmers are available as freestanding units or those that mount to the wall. Options also include those that plug into an outlet or are hardwired into the building’s electricity. Because you’re renting, towel warmers with a plug might be a better option.
3. Hang curtains.
Rentals tend to come equipped with standard window treatments, such as blinds or shutters. While they’re great for privacy, they often don’t prevent energy transfers. An energy transfer is when warm or cool air, depending on the season, escapes from your home through windows, walls or other materials. Save on heating costs by hanging thick curtains, such as blackout curtains or quilted curtains, over windows.
If the walls in your home feel cold when the heater is on, consider hanging a tapestry or curtain along bare walls. Even hanging a simple poster adds an extra insulating layer that can raise internal surface temperatures a couple degrees and lower energy costs.
4. Use space heaters or heated blankets.
Turning up the heat in your rented home can raise your power bills, especially if the heating system warms rooms no one occupies. A simple way to save energy is to turn down the thermostat by at least 5°F and use a space heater to warm the room you’re using.
When relaxing, using a heated blanket, heating pad or hot water bottle will help you feel even toastier without needing to raise the thermostat.
5. Eliminate air leaks.
If you can feel cold in coming in through cracks or gaps in walls, doors or windows, it’s a safe bet that warm air is escaping from the same areas. Use spackle to seal cracks in walls, particularly along exterior walls. If you feel cool air entering your home from beneath the door, purchase or make a door draft stopper that slides onto the bottom of the door.
Talk to your landlord about drafts coming from windows and doorframes, as well as cracks you notice on the outside part of exterior walls. Simple remedies include using caulk, spray foam or weather stripping to reduce energy transfers. However, your rental contract may not allow you to make such improvements to the property so be sure to check in.
Installing inexpensive foam gaskets behind light switch and electrical outlet covers along exterior walls also helps reduce energy-zapping air leaks. It is a good idea to receive permission from your landlord before installing them.
6. Reverse your ceiling fan.
When warmed, air expands, becomes less dense and rises, leaving the cooler air below. As a result, the air might feel warmer when you stand up. If your home has a ceiling fan, push the warm air down by operating it at a low speed that spins the blades clockwise.
7. Make your own zoned heating.
Rather than heat your whole house, heat the room you’re using. Do this by turning down the thermostat to a low setting, using a space heater and closing the door to the room. Space heaters are best for walled-in rooms instead of areas in an open floor plan.
Staying warm and keeping energy costs low during the winter can seem like a battle between your budget and desire to feel comfortable. If your heating bills continue to creep up despite your best efforts to save energy, the heating system might need maintenance, repair or a replacement. Tell your landlord about AAA Heating and Cooling’s free estimates to get down to the heart of the issue and receive expert energy-saving tips.
Download our step-by-step checklist for improving the heating costs in your apartments! 7 Tips for Reducing Heating Costs in Apartments (913 downloads)