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7 Ways to Make Your Rental Green (Without Ticking Off Your Landlord)

TipsforMakingRentalGreen0328Sometimes, well-intentioned, eco-friendly renters are thwarted by less forward-thinking, more cost-minded landlords because it just doesn’t make a lot of sense to invest in energy efficient technologies for a temporary home. But what if you still want to do your part for the environment? We’ve got seven tips for adding some green to your rental, without making your landlord red in the face:

1. Replace Incandescent Lights

A cheap, easy, non-invasive way to make your rental green is by replacing incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents (CFLs). You don’t have to take out working bulbs and toss them. Just put in the more efficient bulbs as old ones burn out.

2. Install Ceiling Fans

Most landlords will either install ceiling fans for you or have few objections to a DIY installation — just be sure to ask first. Ceiling fans set to rotate clockwise during winter force warmed air away from the ceiling and down into the room. In summer, switch the rotation to counterclockwise for a cooling breeze without having to jacking up the AC.

3. Invest in Smart Power Strips

Phantom power gets sucked out of electrical outlets into appliances and electronics if they’re left plugged in, even if they’re turned off. Use a smart power strip to stop this type of energy loss. You can even take them with you when you move.

4. Get a Dual Flush Converter Kit

The bathroom is a big target for green living, since a large part of the home’s water consumption occurs there. For less than $50, you can install a dual flush converter kit, which gives your old toilet the benefit of water saving technology. You can put the old works back in before you move if you (or your landlord) like. For a cheaper fix, fill up a couple small water bottles and drop them into the tank (they take up space, tricking your toilet into thinking it’s full) for less water consumption.

5. Put in a Low-Flow Showerhead

Pick up a low-flow showerhead, available for a few bucks at any home improvement store. Be sure to ask your landlord before installing (and save the old showerhead, so you can reinstall it when you move).

6. Switch to a Programmable Thermostat

Since heating and cooling accounts for about forty percent of the average home’s energy use, programmable thermostats are a great way to control overall energy usage. Set your thermostat two degrees cooler than usual in winter and two degrees warmer in summer, and save as much as ten percent on your bill with very little loss of comfort. Check with your landlord before replacing any permanent fixtures; though, most landlords will appreciate the upgrade.

7. Seal and Caulk Cracks in Windows

Leaky window seals are a primary cause of year-round energy waste. Caulking windows and sealing up cracks to reduce draft can show up as immediate savings on your energy bill, and it helps the environment by squandering less energy.

None of these upgrades are damaging to the property, and all will help you feel better about your green footprint. What eco-friendly upgrades have you made to your rental? Share your thoughts in the comments below.