Saving energy is part of going green; by adjusting your habits and home layouts, you can reduce energy consumption immediately. Cutting your energy use does not require structural modifications, which is beneficial if you rent an apartment or if you do not want to make costly changes.
To save energy in an apartment or a house, manage the heating and cooling. Make sure you are not wasting air conditioning or heating by using insulated drapes and adding caulking or weatherstripping to windows and doors. Turn down the thermostat at night and when you are at work to conserve energy and save on the electricity, gas or oil bill. (See References 1)
One of the easiest ways to save energy in an apartment or house is to replace standard light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. According to the Energy Star website, CFLs use 75 percent less energy; they also have a longer lifetime and save more than $40 in energy costs over the life of the bulb. Make use of natural light whenever possible to reduce the need for electric light. If you can, set lights on a timer or plug lamps into smart power strips so that they automatically turn off. (See References 2)
Reduce Power Use
For an instant reduction in your energy use, change the way you use power at home. Plug groups of appliances into power strips and turn them off completely whenever they are not in use; when electronics are plugged into the wall, they can use "phantom" power even when turned off (see References 3). If you have home computers, unplug them when you are away from home, enable the built-in energy saving settings and make the screen go to sleep when inactive instead of using a screen saver.
Altering the way you use water can help save energy, particularly when it comes to hot water. According to Energy Star, 90 percent of the energy a washing machine uses per load is used to heat the water; wash clothes in cold water whenever possible. You can also save more than $140 each year by installing a low-flow shower head, which is easily replaced even in a rental apartment. If you have access to the water heater, turn it down; if the heater is outside of your apartment, try to use less hot water. (See References 3)
Elizabeth Smith has been a scientific and engineering writer since 2004. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, newspapers and corporate publications. A frequent traveler, she also has penned articles as a travel writer. Smith has a Bachelor of Arts in communications and writing from Michigan State University.