One of the benefits of renting an apartment is having lower utility bills than if you live in a single-family home. The smaller, more efficient layouts and shared walls work together to minimize electricity and gas usage. However, if you want to save even more money and make eco-friendly choices, we’re sharing nine simple things you can do to lower your utilities in your apartment.
Two Ways to Reduce Your Water Bill
Most experts say that to lower your water bill, you need to replace your appliances and fixtures, but in an apartment that’s not always feasible. There are ways to stay on top of your budget. Try these apartment friendly ways to minimize water usage, instead.
Switch to a Low-Flow Shower Head
Low-flow shower heads can reduce water usage by 40 percent. Even better, they don’t reduce your water pressure. There are actually two options available:
- Aerated shower heads – These add air into the water to increase the density and create a softer, more “bubbly” experience.
- Non-aerated shower heads – These have smaller flow holes so less water is pushed through, though you still get a higher-pressure, more “massage-style” experience.
Simply remove the current shower head and store it someplace safe and install the more efficient option. Then, before you move, switch them back so you can take your shower head with you.
Displace Water in your Toilet Tank
Older toilet tanks can use up to five or more gallons of water with each flush, but that’s often much more than is needed. Take one or two empty plastic water or soda bottles and add sand or small gravel bits to them, fill them with water, and place them in your toilet tank away from the moving parts. This displaces water and reduces the amount of water necessary to fill up the tank without hindering the effectiveness of flushing. If you don’t want to reuse a bottle, you can purchase a toilet tank bank or float booster from your local home improvement store.
Four Ways to Reduce Your Electric Bill in Your Uptown Apartment
Use these simple tips to minimize your electricity bill, especially in the summer when you may be relying on air conditioning.
Improve Your Refrigerator Efficiency
The refrigerator is one of the biggest consumptions of power in your apartment, so you want it to run as efficiently as possible. Pull it out an inch or two from the wall to ensure air flow can move through it and clean the coils once a month. On the inside, a full refrigerator is easier to keep cool, so if you don’t have a lot in it, fill jugs of water to take up space.
Shade a Window Unit Air Conditioner
If your apartment relies on a window unit air conditioner to keep cool in the summer, it’s important to keep the unit cool. If you can, install your window unit on the north side where it won’t get as much direct sunlight. Otherwise, see if you can add a temporary awning over the window to block some of the sunlight without restricting air flow.
Use Efficient Window Coverings
Room darkening curtains, insulated drapes, and blinds all work to keep the sunlight out and your apartment cooler during the day. Make sure to keep the curtains closed when you’re gone for the day and, if you’re home, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. to block out the warmest rays.
Keep Your Air Conditioner Off
Minneapolis summers don’t get too hot, but you wouldn’t know it if you live on the second or third floor. Save the air conditioning for the extreme heat and, instead, place a box fan backwards in an open window to pull hot air out of the apartment. In another window, place a fan forwards to pull cool air in and keep it circulating around your home.
Three Ways to Lower Your Gas Bill
While gas heat is effective and efficient against Minnesota’s brutal winters, the bills still get high. Fortunately, there are some simple ways to cut costs and stay cozy.
Place Plastic Over Your Windows
Leaks and drafts around windows cause your apartment to lose a large percentage of heated air. Seal off your windows with plastic sheeting to block the drafts and keep your warm air inside. Also, make sure to cover the window unit air conditioner to block drafts.
Increase Humidity in Your Apartment
When the air in your apartment is dry it can’t hold heat as efficiently, so your heat is going to run more to make up for the loss. Moisture in the air holds heat, so adding humidity will mean your heat won’t have to run as often to keep it warm. While you can buy a humidifier, you can also simply keep a pan of water on top of the radiator and add green plants around your home.
Improve Your Radiator’s Effectiveness
When your radiator is installed against a wall, much of the heat coming out of the coils is seeping into your walls where it’s going to waste. Wrap a square of cardboard with aluminum foil and place it behind your radiator, and the heat behind the unit will be reflected back out into your room rather than lost to the spaces between the wall.
Call Us to Rent an Apartment in Uptown Minneapolis Today
If you’re looking to rent an apartment in the Uptown neighborhood in Minneapolis, we can help. We have several historic buildings with one and two-bedroom apartments that are in a great location and offer numerous conveniences and amenities. Call us at 952-460-0804, or fill out the contact form below to learn more about what we have available and to schedule a tour today.