Updated: Jun 26, 2018
Energy efficiency doesn’t have to mean rewiring your whole apartment. It can be as easy as changing a light bulb. Summer is here and it’s hot outside. Sometimes that heat follows us indoors, making us feel sticky and uncomfortable. What if there were a few small changes that you could make to make a big difference in your home? Here are nine things you can do today to make your home more energy efficient:
1 Wash your clothes in cold water
Doing a load of laundry (even your light colors) in cold water saves energy because the water doesn’t have to heat up. Doing a cold load also helps prevent shrinkage and colors running together.
2 Use Reusable Containers
Reusable containers help reduce waste and overall energy. Easily washable, Tupperware or Rubbermaid items can be used again and again and are also great storage tools for your apartment.
3 Pack your freezer—not your fridge
Most refrigerated items in households today don’t need to be refrigerated—especially produce. Fruits and veggies can be stored on countertops, leading to an energy efficient home because the fridge doesn’t have to work as hard to keep things cold if it’s not as full.
On the contrary, packing your freezer by self-insulating it with ice packs helps things stay colder longer, while helping your freezer out. Also, limit opening the freezer/fridge to keep the cold air from escaping.
4 Switch to LED or CFL light bulbs
This is one of the easiest tricks yet. The acronyms can be scary, but these types of bulbs are so much better for your home. Even though they typically cost a couple more dollars, it’s worth switching from the old-school incandescent bulbs to these energy-saving ones. Giving off less heat and lasting longer, LED bulbs are a smart change for a hot summer.
5 Make use of those lids that came with your pots and pans
Most people don’t use the lids that came in their kitchen set, but you might want to start. Lids will trap the heat while you’re cooking, reducing the amount of heat let into the rest of your home, not to mention shortening the cook time.
6 Control your blinds strategically
Naturally heating and cooling your apartment can be done by using your window blinds correctly. By blocking out the light, you’re also blocking out the heat!
7 Don’t block air vents
Making sure the area around the air vents is clear can increase air flow and help regulate temperatures. Some people unknowingly put furniture in front of the air vents in their home, causing your thermostat to work twice as hard.
8 Decorate with light colors
Renting can leave you feeling like you’re living in someone else’s home, but this easy trick can help you revamp your apartment and really make it feel like your home. Light colored furniture, decorations, and bedspreads are just a few things you can lighten up to keep your home cool during the summer and stay more energy efficient. Lighter materials will help you stay cool as well.
9 Use power strips
Some people think that power strips take up more energy, but they really give you more control to make your apartment more energy efficient! Plugging your electronics into a power strip allows you to easily turn it off when you leave. It’s the same as unplugging them, but with the click of a button.
Putting these summer secrets into use will leave your apartment feeling cooler during the hot summer and improving your energy efficiency!