It’s summer time and that means in apartment rentals across the United States utility costs are skyrocketing. The energy used by an HVAC system (air conditioning and heating) can account for as much as half of a renter’s total monthly utility costs. Renters watch those bills increase quickly during the very hot and cold months of the year.
While it’s unavoidable to see a bump in costs during summer and winter, there are ways to avoid your budget getting nailed with super high bills you weren’t expecting. By being proactive and implementing a few small changes a tenant can save money without sacrificing comfort in their apartment rentals.
Below we share 5 easy ways to lower your air conditioning and heating bills that will make your bank account, and you, happy.
5 Ways to Lower an Apartment Rentals Air Conditioning and Heating Bills
Our first tip requires some planning ahead as it should be done during the apartment search process. When it comes to keeping an apartment hot when it’s cold, and cold when it’s hot, a renter should follow these location rules:
- Seek apartment rentals on middle floors as they use less air conditioning and heat. Heat rises so you’ll benefit from your 1st floor neighbor, and cold air sinks so you’ll benefit from your 3rd floor neighbor.
- Apartments that face south get hotter and apartments that face north stay colder. If you are moving somewhere that is warm through the year, opt for a unit facing north. Conversely if you live somewhere that is cold most months of the year, rent a unit that faces south to benefit from the natural heat.
- Seek apartment rentals that have windows opposite each other. During times when the weather outside is nice, a renter can forgo AC by opening both windows and getting a strong cross breeze of fresh air.
Master Your Thermostat
A few degrees colder during the winter or hotter during the summer may not seem like a substantial change…but it can substantially reduce your utility costs. These small changes really add up, saving a renter a ton of money annually.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, setting a thermostat up (air conditioning) or down (heating) 10 to 15 degrees for 8 hours at a time can save a renter anywhere from 5-15% in utility bills each year. Since most renters are out of their apartment rentals during the workday, this is an easy change that most everyone can implement.
Change Your Filter…Regularly
An air conditioning filter has many roles. It removes dirt, allergens and dust from the air in your home, and it helps your HVAC system to run smoothly. An HVAC system that has filtered, uninterrupted airflow will help to reduce overall utility costs.
It’s recommended that the filter in an HVAC system be changed once a month, especially if you are someone who suffers from allergies. It’s great if your apartment community changes the filters for you, but be advised most only do so once every 3 months. Ask your property management office what their specific protocol is and, if necessary, fill in the months that they don’t cover the filter change.
Control Temperatures with Curtains, Blinds and Drapes
It may seem like curtains, blinds and drapes will not have a large affect on your cooling and heating bills, but boy do they. In winter months leaving them open can dramatically heat up your apartment, saving your heater from doing all the work. In summer months, keeping them closed during the day will save your air conditioning from running as often.
Both of these advantages have a profound effect on your monthly utility bills. An additional bonus to installing curtains, blinds or drapes is that, when closed, they provide an extra layer of insulation that locks in desired temperatures.
Everyone needs a little help now and then, and your air conditioner is no different. By using a ceiling fan to circulate more air a renter can raise their thermostat up 4 degrees without feeling any difference in temperature. This keeps an apartment rental just as cool, while reducing electricity consumption.
Remember to turn off those fans whenever you leave a room! Also, if your unit doesn’t have a ceiling fan go ahead and buy a box or table fan for under $30. You will get that money back over the course of the year.
Bills Too High and Seeking New Apartment Rentals?
Sometimes even all the tips in the world can’t save you from an old or bad HVAC system. If your air conditioning and heating bills are just too high, no matter what you do, it sounds like it’s time to find a new apartment rental. If you live in or around the Hattiesburg, MS area and are seeking apartment rentals then let us help! With over 35 years experience in the Mississippi apartment market, our team has helped thousands of tenants find the space that is perfect for their needs. Start by searching online or give us a call at (601) 264-4626 today!