Move-in Tips to Save Money and the Planet

Whether you are a new or returning student coming to campus this month, it’s important to do your part to be energy efficient. Saving the environment starts with you. While this is a hectic time with transporting items, buying new furniture, getting rid of old items and setting up your space, use these tips from UA’s department of energy management to teach yourself how to save energy, money and the environment.

LED Bulbs

person changes a light bulb in a lamp

Whether you’re moving into a dorm or into an apartment, one of the first things you should do is switch any incandescent or compact fluorescent light bulbs with LEDs in your personal lamps. LED bulbs use significantly less energy compared to traditional bulbs.

Check for Leaks and Gaps

Moving into a new off-campus residence is the perfect time to check for leakage and gaps. Double-check that windows are caulked and that you don’t feel any warm air coming through their corners. Make sure there are no water leaks around kitchen and bathroom sinks. Check that refrigerator door seals are not leaking cool air and that the oven door seal is not letting out hot air. Leaks like these can run up utility costs and make your residence less comfortable.

Use Air Conditioning, Fans and Blinds Wisely

a woman closes blinds on a window

Moving into an apartment, house or residence hall in the August heat in Tuscaloosa is a daunting task. As you’re moving items in and out of your space, keep your exterior doors closed as much as possible. Closing blinds and curtains to block out the sun keeps your interior cooler. Also, using a ceiling or personal fan can make you feel up to 4 degrees cooler. Keeping the thermostat set on 72 will keep your space comfortable.

Turn Off Lights

Before you leave a room, turn off lights. As you’re coming and going it’s easy to get distracted but forgetting to turn off lights is wasting energy and you will have to replace bulbs more often. Making the small step to turn off lights makes a big difference in your power bill and the environment.

Beware of Phantom Energy

a power strip with an off swtich

After you move in, don’t let up your energy-saving guard. Phantom power is known as “vampire power” because it refers to unused but plugged-in electronics that drain energy so slowly you don’t even notice. For example, having items like phone chargers, laptop chargers, printers, toasters and power strips that are plugged in all add up to a decent amount of wasted energy. A useful hack is investing in power strips that you can turn on and off when not in use without unplugging anything.

Wash Full Loads in Cold Water

Dishwashers and laundry units require lots of energy to heat water. To fully utilize these appliances, wash in full loads using cold water. Cleaning your dryer’s lint filter will make your clothes dry faster and reduce your electric bill.

Keep It Up!

While some of these tips may seem like common knowledge, it’s important to work them into your daily routine. The environment and your power bill will be grateful. Let’s kick off the school year being efficient and effective.