1. Home

Zero-Cost Ways to Cool Your Apartment and Lower Your Electricity Bill

By

Sunny window

When too much heat gets inside your apartment, it's time to take action.

© picturegarden / Getty Images

If your apartment becomes uncomfortable or unbearable when it gets hot outside, don't assume there's not much you can do about it. Even though you may rent an apartment and have limited control over the building's air-conditioning system, there are still certain things you can do to help maintain a pleasant environment in your home.

Here are suggestions for keeping cool in your apartment that require little time and effort, don't cost a cent, and could help reduce the amount of your monthly electricity bill:

1. Close or Open Doors

Depending on your air-conditioning situation, you may need to close or open doors to maximize the amount of cool air in your rental.

For instance, say you're renting a small one-bedroom apartment and you rely on one air-conditioning unit in your bedroom to keep cool. You should be sure to keep your bedroom door open to allow cool air from your unit to circulate throughout your apartment.

However, if your concern is making sure the bedroom (and not the rest of the apartment) gets enough cool air (such as when you go to sleep at night), you might want to keep the door closed to prevent cool air from seeping out.

2. Close or Open Windows

If you're running air-conditioning units, you should keep the windows closed. Otherwise, much of the cool air will escape and you'll add unnecessarily to your electricity bills. If outside temperatures fall significantly (such as at sunset), you might want to open your windows and shut off your air-conditioners to take advantage of a natural, cool breeze.

3. Keep the Sunlight Out

If you've got blinds or curtains, keep them closed on hot, sunny days to conserve energy.

Also, if you have air-conditioning units, they'll have to work that much harder to lower the temperature the more heat that enters through your apartment's window. When you leave your apartment, don't forget to shut blinds or close curtains, whether or not you keep your air-conditioners running.

4. Set Your Ceiling Fan to Cool

Many people who buy ceiling fans to cool a room don't realize that most of these fans have a switch that changes the direction of the blades and actually makes the fans work to keep heat from escaping.

If you've got a ceiling fan, find out if your blades are circulating air in the right direction and, if not, how to change it.

5. Move Furniture Away from Air-Conditioning Units

Avoid placing a couch, dresser, or other large pieces of furniture directly in front of or to the side of an air-conditioning unit. Make sure any units in your apartment have enough space to send cool air forward and sideways, ideally at least to a 45-degree angle.

  1. About.com
  2. Home
  3. Apartment Living / Rental
  4. Money Matters
  5. Zero-Cost Ways to Cool Your Apartment and Lower Your Electricity Bill

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.