Conserving energy and saving money in a rental property

Some simple steps can help you control – and lower – your energy bills while living in a rental property.

What to Look for Before You Rent

  • Ask if the unit is supplied with electric or natural gas
  • Check the water pressure on cold, hot and both, and see how long it takes to heat up
  • Bring a socket tester and test all outlets. Make sure there are enough outlets in each room, and that there are enough 3-prong outlets.
  • Check for cell reception
  • Ask the neighbors what the worst parts of the building, street and neighborhood are
  • Drive through the area during rush hour if commuting via car to see what the traffic is like
  • Make sure there's an Internet provider you’ll be happy with
  • Take a look around the property and the neighboring homes. If there are things left sitting on the porches (toys, furniture, decorations), it's a good sign there is little or no theft and it’s a kid-friendly environment.
  • Ask "How long do residents typically live in the building?"
  • Inspect the windows:
    • Double-paned/double-glazed are best
    • See if they’re in good repair
    • Feel the area around the window to see if it’s cold – if it is, this can mean higher heating bills
    • See if the windows open and close easily
  • Ask how old each appliance is and when it was purchased
    • If they are on the older side, ask how often they’ve been serviced


Tips for Fall and Winter
  • For single room A/C units, insulate them with an A/C unit cover to keep air from escaping
    • Consider removing the unit and putting it in storage during the cold months
  • Warm up your cold bare floors by laying down an area rug. Rugs trap heat, helping your heating system to keep your place comfortable.
  • By placing shallow pans of water near radiator tops or close to warm air vents, you can add much needed moisture to your room’s air.
  • Since most of the energy you spend on washing your clothes – 80% to 85% of it – is used heating the water, try washing your clothes on a colder temperature setting to lower your cost.

Tips for Spring and Summer
  • Improve insulation around windows and doors
  • Clean the vents on your dryer
  • Change the direction of your ceiling fans

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