Tips For Renters

Ten Tips for Your Home, Apartment, or Dorm

1. Replace light fixtures or bulbs with ENERGY STAR qualified lights. Also, remember to turn off the lights when you leave the room!
Lighting accounts for nearly 12 percent of a household’s annual electric bill. By turning off the lights and replacing your lightbulbs with ENERGY STAR qualified products, you can reduce energy consumption and save up to $70 each year.

2. Save energy by unplugging appliances and electronics when they are not in use.
Your appliances and electronics continue to drain energy when they are plugged in, even if they are turned off. This standby power can account for up to 10 percent of your energy bill. By unplugging devices or turning off your power strip, you can reduce your energy consumption and save up to $180 a year.

3. Keep the heat out by closing your window shades or drapes.
Use your window shades to block heat from the sun during the summer months. When the weather is cooler, take advantage of the sun’s warmth by keeping your shades open during daylight hours.

4. Wash only full loads of laundry and use cold water whenever possible.
You can save 3,400 gallons of water a year by washing full loads of laundry, rather than partial loads. You can also save energy by using cold water whenever possible. Additionally, you can save energy by only drying full loads or clothes, or reducing the drying time for partial loads. Get more water saving tips.

5. Start a compost bin
Keep food waste out of landfills by using a compost bin. If you don’t have a yard, garden, or patio for your compost bin, you can make or purchase an indoor bin. A properly managed indoor bin will not attract pests or rodents and will not smell bad. Find out more about composting.

6. Buy cleaning products that are made from less-toxic ingredients.
Using less toxic cleaning products helps reduce pollutants in both the air and water. The EPA’s Safer Choice program labels cleaning products that help protect the environment and are safer for families.

7. Purchase items that are made from recyclable materials.
Look for paper products and other items that are made from recyclable materials. Items that are made from recycled content are manufactured with fewer virgin materials. In fact, one ton of paper manufactured from recycled paper saves 17 trees and uses 50% less water. You can spot recycled-content products by reading the labels.

8. Set your thermostat at 78 degrees or higher in the summer.
By keeping your thermostat set at 78 degrees or higher in the summer and 68 degrees or cooler in the winter, you can save $180 per year. Ceiling fans will also allow you to raise the thermostat setting by about 4 degrees without discomfort. In the winter, you can reverse your fan to force warm air down into the room.

9. Opt out of junk mail.
Consumers and businesses receive more than 80 billion pieces of junk mail each year; most of this ends up in our landfills. You can easily opt out of prescreened offers of credit and insurance on the Consumer Credit Reporting Industry website. You can also opt out of receiving unsolicited commercial mail from many national companies for five years through the Direct Marketing Association’s Mail Preference Service. Both of these secured sites will ask for personal information, such as your address.

10. Notify your landlord immediately if you find a leak.
A faucet leaking at a rate of one drop per second can waste up to 3,000 gallons of water per year. That’s the amount of water needed to take more than 180 showers! Help conserve water, and save money, by getting any leaks repaired immediately. Get information about finding and fixing leaks.

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