Whether you’re renting an apartment or building your home, you’re probably always looking for ways to cut back on spending. One area where it’s easy to do so is on your electricity bill. Here are some savings tips for any type of resident.
When purchasing, find an energy-efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. Take a look at the unit’s Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) and Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) on the unit’s yellow “Energy Guide” label. A good SEER is greater than or equal to 16, and a good EER is greater than or equal to 12.5.
Look for the ENERGY STAR® label on new windows. On the label, make sure the U-Factor is between 0.20 and 1.20, and the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SGHC) is between 0 and 1. Lower SHGC ratings mean less solar heat will come through, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. You can also install low emissivity storm windows that are rated by the Attachment Energy Rating Council.
Trap air in homes by maintaining proper insulation, and don’t forget to check the insulation in the attic for missing sections. The higher the R-value of the insulation, the greater the insulating effectiveness. The R-value depends on the type of insulation, its thickness, and its density. You’ll also want to look around for openings where air can come in or out. If you find an opening, use foam caulk or a permanent, non-combustible sealant to close it.
Savings for renters
Set the temperature to use less energy. For warmer weather, set your thermostat to 78 degrees or higher. For colder weather, set your thermostat at 68 degrees or lower, and set it higher or lower seasonally to avoid unnecessary usage.
Look for gaps along baseboards and flooring, and around door frames. Use caulk or weatherstripping to seal leaks. Let your landlord know your plans before making any significant repairs.
Set your water heater to 120 degrees or less. Taking short showers and using the economical settings on your laundry and dishwasher can also lessen the demand on your water heater.
For more energy-saving tips, visit pec.coop/savings.