No More Ramen: A College Student's Guide To Saving Money On The Power Bill

It's a month after you moved into your first college apartment. You've finally gotten the posters on the wall, everything unpacked and then you open up your first electric bill. Odds are, it is more than you were expecting. Thankfully, a few small changes can help you to save a lot of money.

It's Getting Drafty in Here

Leaking air is a little like a ghost: you can't see it, but it can cause trouble. Walk around your place at night and feel for any areas that are drafty or cold, especially around doors and windows. If you feel any air coming through, roll up a washcloth or towel and plug the leak.

Similarly, make sure all of your air vents are open. Closed air vents trap the cooled or heated air, which prevents them from getting into the room. Worse, if the vents are closed, your air conditioning system will still register the room as being the wrong temperature and will keep producing air to control the climate. By opening those vents, you allow your A/C to work smarter, not harder.

Screw Around

Energy efficient light bulbs used to be quite pricey, but now they are roughly the cost of a normal bulb. EELs use up to 80% less energy compared with traditional bulbs and can last up to 25 times longer, with the average bulb lasting over a year. Screwing a few of these in can net significant savings.

There's an App for That

Heating and cooling accounts for 48% of the average power bill and a majority of the power use is during times when you aren't even there. Talk to your landlord about installing a programmable thermostat, which makes it easy to maintain control of the temperature inside of your home, even if you aren't there. Many programmable thermostats can be operated using an application on your phone or tablet, meaning you can change the temperature even if you're in class.

Additionally, many utility companies now provide bills and power saving tips through apps. Installing one on your phone can alert you to ways you can slash your bill even further.

Put a Stake in Those Vampires

Devices that suck power, even when not in use, are referred to as "vampires." It may seem convenient to leave your cell charger or computer on all night, but those charges add up. Overall, vampire charges account for 10% of the average power bill. Taking a few moments each night to shut off and unplug devices that are not being used can save you quite a bit over the course of a year.

When you're in school, every penny counts. Save yourself a little bit of money on the power bill with these tips and you can splurge on better meals than ramen. To learn more, contact a company like Argon Electric Ltd electrical inspections


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