From solar panels and reclaimed wood floors to recycled tile and low-E windows, homeowners have plenty of options nowadays in regards to green layout. However, what about tenants? If you lease your flat, some of these larger-scale changes may not be an alternative, but there are still adjustments you can create on your own (or with your spouse’s permission) that will decrease your energy needs, save you money and make for a healthier house and world.
Have a look at these 16 great ways to start.
Studio D – Danielle Wallinger
1. Put in a toaster. In case you have access to your own thermostat, replacing the regular controls with a programmable variant (such as this one) can save you a bundle in energy costs. See the Energy Star website for more information and tips about how best to plan your thermostat. Ask your landlord and see whether you can get reimbursed for the update.
Kristen Rivoli Interior Design
2. Use power strips — and turn them off if they’re not in use. Power strips can help avoid”vampire” energy usage that happens when devices are still suck power even if they are off. Have trouble remembering to change them off? For a little additional cash, you can purchase a”smart strip” (such as this one from Belkin) that can automatically shut off power.
3. Ask your landlord to lower the water heating temperature. Shifting the water heater into the”warm” setting with a maximum temp of 120 levels will save energy and prevent accidental burns. This is especially important should you have small ones around the home!
Union Studio, Community & Architecture Design
4. Use caulk or weather stripping around windows and doors. Make your flat warmer in winter and cooler in summer by filling gaps where air escapes. In case you have a fireplace, make certain the flue is closed.
5. Seal over VOC-containing paint. If you become aware of a strong chemical odor from the paint on your walls when you move in, look at getting permission to repaint yourself. If you receive the go-ahead, use a nonbreathable primer such as B-I-N shellac-base primer at first to pay the old paint; it will seal from the volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) and also prevent additional off-gassing. Then, follow that with a coat or two of low-VOC paint.
Notice that while B-I-N primer itself is not eco friendly, it finishes off-gassing in a matter of hours, whereas conventional paint can keep on emitting poisonous fumes for ages.
Jordan Parnass Digital Architecture
6. Install dimmers or detectors on light switches. Not only are dimmer switches helpful for creating a wonderful ambience, but they can also help save energy by letting you keep lights at the lowest level required. As an excess step, you can ask to install vacancy detectors, which automatically shut off lights if no one is in the area.
7. Switch to CFL or LED bulbs. In case you have not completed it yet, change over all of your bulbs from incandescents to CFL or LED bulbs, which last much longer.
8. Open windows and use fans to improve airflow. New furnishings, paint and other finishes can all impact the air quality in your property. Even if you live in an urban region, air quality is generally much better outdoors, so make sure you open your windows for a little while every day in most seasons.
9. Get an air conditioner. To really improve the air quality inside your flat, put money into an air cleaner with a HEPA filter, and make sure you keep on top of filter replacements.
Brennan + Company Architects
10. Create a DIY water displacer to your bathroom. Reduce the amount of water your toilet uses per flush by putting a liter bottle filled with water inside the tank.
11. Put in a converter to your bathroom. For much more water-saving potential, you can put in a dual-flush retrofit in your current bathroom. Run this repair by your landlord — he or she could even be prepared to reimburse you.
12. Switch into some low-flow showerhead. It might appear a bit intimidating, but replacing a showerhead is a fairly simple procedure, and you can even eliminate it and take it with you when you move.
Scheer & Co..
13. Reuse water onto your houseplants. A simple method to save a bit of water is to pour all of those half-drunk glasses of plain water in your watering can instead of down the drain. You won’t need additional water for plants again!
Jordan Parnass Digital Architecture
14. Utilize your window coverings to regulate temperature. During the summertime, shut up windows and shades to keep the flat cooler during the heat of the day. Fling open the windows during the evenings to refresh the atmosphere and allow in a cool breeze.
15. Hang blackout curtains. This add-on for drapes or shades doesn’t only keep it dark from the bedroom in the early hours, it can also help insulate your flat.
16. Check if your utility company provides a more”green power” option. Some towns are currently offering renewable energy. If it’s offered in your area, it might mean that a part or all of your electricity could be bought from wind farms and other renewable sources.