We’ve just had a serious cold snap here in the Pittsburgh area, and since winter’s nowhere close to over, now is a good time to talk about conserving energy while staying warm.
Whether or not your rent includes utilities like gas, electricity, or heat, conserving energy is good for the planet as well as your wallet (exorbitant utility bills can drive rent up from year to year).
Here are some quick tips:
- Make sure all windows and doors are properly insulated. A rolled up towel against the base of a drafty door is great in a pinch. Window insulation kits are cheap, easy to use, and work miracles.
- Take out all window air conditioning units and make sure all windows are fully closed.
- Keep all the doors inside your home open so the air can circulate and heat everything evenly.
- Never use your oven to heat your home, this is dangerous, especially with gas stoves.
- Contact maintenance if your heat isn’t working properly, a good maintenance service will take care of any issues—both too hot and too cold—in a timely manner and even provide space heaters in emergencies.
- Never open a window over a radiator in cold weather: this can crack the radiator and flood your home, and you will likely be charged for the water damage as well as the replacement of the radiator.
- When moving, find a home with new windows and doors, and check for drafts when touring rentals if possible.
- Never forget the tried and true practice of layering up with cozy sweaters and socks. Hot beverages warm you from the inside out, so while you wait for maintenance, have a cup of tea or hot cocoa.
As long as we’re on the subject of winter and heat, be sure to take precautions for your pipes during extreme cold. Open the cupboard and vanity doors under all sinks so warm air can circulate to them. Keep your water dripping so it doesn’t freeze inside the pipes.