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4 Simple Ways to Save Money on Heating your Apartment

4 Simple Ways to Save Money on Heating your Apartment

Winter guarantees two things in Wisconsin: Cold weather and expensive heating bills. Combat the costs with haphazard methods, however, and it could cost you more. Here are four effective, safe ways to save money on heating your apartment this winter.

Every year, we see first-time renters make the same mistakes, including shutting off their heat for an extended period of time, like when they travel for the holidays. Not only could this damage your apartment, it could cost you thousands. Here are some cost-effective alternatives.

The Biggest Mistake: Shutting off your Heater

Many tenants, especially renting rookies, leave Madison for winter break and decide to shut their heat to save money on their heating bill. This is a huge no-no! Without heat flowing, your plumbing pipes can freeze and even burst.

If you shut the heat, causing your pipes to freeze and burst, it could cost upwards of $10,000 to fix the damages – a cost which will fall on you if turning off the heat is a violation of your lease (it usually is). Additionally, flooding from burst pipes can damage your personal belongings.

Even if the pipes don’t burst, you may be charged for the cost of having a technician unthaw the pipes.

Instead, set your heat to at least 58-60 degrees. For extra precautions to prevent frozen pipes, you can also open cupboards under the sinks to allow warm air to circulate to these areas.

Besides lowering your thermostat, there are a few of other ways to cut the cost of your heating bill, while remaining comfortable in your apartment.

Four Tips for Saving Money on Heating

1. Keep your heat constantly running – Don’t switch your heat on and off throughout the day as it takes more energy to reheat your apartment each time you turn it back on, which costs more money.

Additionally, keeping your apartment at a constant temperature will result in a more consistent gas and electric bill. Your apartment will also better maintain its temperature, making it far more comfortable.

2. Ensure your apartment windows are properly sealed – Creating a tight seal around your windows is instrumental for keeping cold air out and trapping heat in. Here are a few ways to do so, depending on the type of windows in your apartment:

Instead, you can purchase a light plastic material from hardware stores, which you can stretch across the frames of your windows. This traps cold air between the glass and plastic, creating a thermal barrier to keep the cold out.

If you are struggling to secure the plastic on your windows, we would be glad to help! However, know that it is your responsibility to purchase the plastic if you so choose.

3. Check for blocked heat – Check that your heating vents and air returns are open and free of items blocking the airflow.

4. Create an MG&E budget plan – This is a newer option in Madison which quite a few residents have yet to take advantage of.

Just as the name implies, the MG&E budget plan helps you plan your budget around your bill. Here’s how it works:

Creating this plan helps you know ahead of time how much you’ll need to pay each month, making it easier to fit into your monthly budget. You can sign up online or by calling MG&E.

We know that winter can be tough on your wallet. However, we want to ensure that you don’t end up making a mistake that will cost you even more. Follow our four suggestions for a more warmer, comfortable apartment at a lower price.


Budgeting for Rent Worksheet

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Published on Feb 04 2015

Last Updated on Aug 26 2022