Simple and cost-effective energy-saving tips for apartment renters

There are a number of steps homeowners can take to make their properties more energy efficient, from investing in new windows to installing solar panels on their roofs and a variety of things in between. But, what if you rent an apartment? In most cases, these individuals don't have the liberty to implement significant changes in their space, but that doesn't mean that they can't still do their part to cut electricity costs and reduce their carbon footprint. 

A recent article published in the Houston Chronicle outlines some simple ideas for renters to make their apartments more energy efficient: 

Be strategic with window treatments – If you close your shades during hot summer days, you can keep the sunlight out and ensure that your home stays cool without having to crank up the air conditioning. In the winter, on the other hand, shut them at night to prevent heat from escaping. 

Check for drafts – Air leaks in windows and doors can use up a lot of power by draining heat and air conditioning, so you should consider doing your own caulking and weatherstripping to seal them up. 

Install LED bulbs – According to Energy Star, these fixtures use at least 75 percent less electricity than incandescent lighting and can last 35 to 50 times longer, making them a worthwhile investment in the long-term. 

Unplug appliances – Even if you're not using them, electronic devices like laptops, DVD players and televisions still use up power. By unplugging these products after you're done with them, you can save money over time.

Additionally, you may want to contact a home inspection contractor to request an energy audit. This can help you determine the most effective changes to make in your home or apartment.