Most hints for energy savings are for home owners. Are there any for duplex dwellers? Are there web sites for this? I'm not allowed to even change the curtain rods, the curtains yes, but they must fit the rod that is installed. Any hints on water conservation, electric and heat energy savings? Thanks.
By sassy from central IL
There are some tips here:
or any of the other articles here for tips that would be relevant to your situation:
I have heard of using bubble wrap in windows:
It allows light to come through so it can be left up if you want to. Stays up with just a spritz of water. (I don't know if I would use it though if there is a heater directly under the window as in our one room...in case it fell down.)
Or I have read where apt renters cut cardboard or insulating foam board to fit inside the windows and then take them down during the day.
Or using a spring-loaded type tension rod to put up a more insulating curtain or quilt.
If you sew you could add an insulating liner fabric to your curtains which would also work in the summertime to help keep the heat out as well as the warm in the winter.
You could also ask your apt manager if anything is allowed even though it is written as not. But get it in writing that they allowed you to make the changes. If it is something that would be more or less permanent often times they let you do it if you allow it to stay once you move out of your apt.
You mentioned water conservation. We have a toilet that has a water saver in it. I have heard that you can put a block such as a jug filled with water in the tank that will do the same thing. It takes less water to flush. There might be an adjustment on the float also that will save water.
Don't let water run while washing dishes, wash them all then rinse them all at one time. Shut off your shower while you soap, the old military shower my husband calls it, we used to do this when we were camping to conserve water. Think of your apartment as camping and apply the same principals.
Make sure lights are shut out in rooms not occupied, heat vents shut and those windows locked. In the summer block those windows with reflective material to keep the heat out.
Turn your water heater down and your thermostat, put on a sweater. Keep your freezer full makes it run less. Hope these have helped.
You can use energy saving draperies on those rods that you cannot move. Also, on some windows you may be able to use the sheet plastic that you can buy at a home center.
YOu can add a flow restrictor to the end of the water faucet in the kitchen. Save the mesh screen that you removed to put back when you move. (They just screw on like a light bulb) YOu can put a brick or a plastic bottle filled with water in the back of your commode.
YOu can buy and use those energy saving light bulbs. They really work!
If possible turn down your thermostat a few degrees. Turn it down to 55 or 60 at night.
If you decide to use the energy saving light bulbs (CFL) be sure to keep in mind that they contain mercury and are a very dangerous bio hazard if they break in your home and need to be disposed of at special disposal sites so as not to cause bio hazards in our general environment.
A couple other water saving ideas are to turn off water while brushing your teeth, don't flush every time (unless it's brown or you have company) and use cooled down water from cooking to water your plants :-)
You can use "draft stoppers" at the bottoms of your exterior doors... even if it's only a rolled-up blanket or something similar. If you can do it without getting into trouble, try hanging blankets in any open doorways to hold heat in occupied rooms.
If you have your own washer and dryer, try not to do anything but full loads. It doesn't work for me, but you might be able to hang lighter-weight washed objects along your shower rod to dry.
To save electricity, you can use surge suppressors and turn off the power to them when items plugged in to them aren't needed. Other electric items can usually be unplugged when not in use.
I'm also an advocate of "the skipped flush," lol! And I know I'm not the only one: a friend even had a sign above her toilet that said "if it's yellow, let it mellow; if it's brown, flush it down."
I too am from California where water is an issue. Try this to conserve water; Using an empty gallon milk jug fill it 1/2-2/3 with sand (or whatever's readily available which is heavy and takes up the space in jug)depending on the size of your toilet tank. Place jug inside tank after flushing so when it refills it will use less water. Of course adjustments may have to be made, like collapsing the empty portion of jug to make it fit with tank lid, or emptying some of your chosen filler out so tank will have more water. This is because you will need to figure how much water is really needed to completely flush your toilet. It really works.
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