Gas Bill Explosion?
A gas bill can do explosive damage to your wallet during a cold winter. In part two of our series on lowering your apartment’s utility bills, we’d like to give you some pointers on taming that gas bill.
It’s Winter – Do You Know Where Your Gas Bill Is?
In most apartment complexes, the apartments are heated by natural gas. Composed primarily of methane, natural gas is efficient and delivers quick, powerful heat. However, if you’re not keeping track of your gas bill, your natural gas usage can quickly get away from you.
Keep records of what your apartment’s gas bill has been over the past few months. If it spikes without an accompanying change in the weather or in your gas usage, you may have a problem – or even a dangerous natural gas leak. Talk to your apartment manager about the problem.
It’s also very handy to know what’s happening to your neighbors’ gas bills. If you see a significant change in your gas bill, find out what happened to your neighbor’s gas bills. If yours was the only one to jump, you know you have a problem.
Lower Your Apartment’s Gas Bill
Here are some quick gas bill lowering tips:
- Stay in tune with the seasons. When it’s cold out, don’t fight it with your thermostat. Wear a sweater and socks when you’re in the house, and keep the thermostat a few degrees cooler. Program or adjust your thermostat so your apartment’s gas bill isn’t skyrocketing because you’re heating an empty apartment.
- Spot heating is big savings. As we mentioned in our electric bill article, it really pays to use a space heater to stay toasty in your favorite locations, rather than heating the entire apartment.
- Hot water hits your gas bill. If your apartment’s shower spits scalding water, you’re also getting burned by your gas bill. Turn the hot water heater setting down until you don’t need to mix in cold water when you take a shower.
- Insulate. Even apartment renters can insulate with easily-removed weatherstripping. If you’re worried about getting dinged for damage caused by weatherstripping, simply stuff drafty window cracks with packing foam or bubble wrap.
- Hot water, redux. Some 80 to 85% of the energy you spend on washing clothes is spent on heating the water. Try washing your clothes only in cold water, and if that doesn’t work for you, try warm instead of hot. Make sure you’re using the right water level setting – less water means less waste!
- Watch your oven. If your apartment’s gas bill is being inflated by oven usage, try moving or sharing the load. Can those fries be browned in your smaller toaster oven? Are you using the oven for toast? How about baking potatoes and cooking a roast at the same time?
Gas Bill Relief
Try these tips and see if you get some gas bill relief. Sometimes, though, you may have to talk to apartment maintenance about the insulation or the heating in your unit.
If you’re trying to find an energy-efficient apartment for rent, don’t forget to use our apartment search services. You can earn up to $200 in renter rewards if you find an apartment with us!
The Economy Is Temporarily Making More Apartments Available
“Apartments Available” is a common message at apartment complexes right now. The rental market has taken a beating from the economic crisis, and if you’re trying to find an apartment, now is a great time because rents are temporarily low and more folks are finding apartments available.
According to an October 28th article from The Wall Street Journal‘s Marketwatch.com website, the Market Tightness Index has indicated more apartments available and lower rents for five straight quarters – more than a year of declines. At the same time, Mark Obrinsky, the vice president of research for the National Multi Housing Council (NMHC), says that “favorable demographics and a lower homeownership rate will benefit the apartment industry over time,” driving up rents, tightening the rental market and making fewer apartments available.
High Apartment Availability Won’t Last
In our opinion, Obrinsky’s right on the money about the rental market. The mortgage crisis has made it nearly impossible for home buyers to get loans to buy new homes. Right now, things are so bad that people are living with friends or family while they try to regroup from foreclosures and job losses. Soon, though, those people will move into apartments and reduce the number of apartments available.
The rental market is slow now, but this is just the calm before the storm. We expect to see a lot of traffic on the rental market in coming months and a lot fewer apartments available for renters.
If you’re unsatisfied with your current housing situation, you should consider looking to rent an apartment on our website or swinging by one of our local apartment rental offices for a chat with one of our apartment finders. We anticipate that there will be far fewer choice apartments available for renters to choose from in the spring.
Source: MarketWatch, October 28, 2008.
Apartment Rentals Increasing
Apartment rentals are on the rise, which may seem a little odd during a slow economy. If you really think about it, the increase in apartment rentals actually makes perfect sense. With all the foreclosures on homes because of the slow economy, you have to wonder where all the people who lived in those houses are going. Simple – they are renting apartments.
Apartment Renters Are Staying Put
According to an article in BusinessWeek magazine, fewer people are moving out of apartments to buy homes. In fact, the rate of people moving out of apartments to buy homes is around 14 percent compared to 20 percent last year. There is also the fact that lending standards have gotten stricter, making it more difficult to qualify for a mortgage.
Apartment Rentals Make Sense in Slow Economy
The article also mentions that renting an apartment makes more sense to a lot of people during uncertain financial times. To some it is a much safer feeling to be locked into an apartment lease instead of being locked into a mortgage. The parts of the country where there is an increase in apartment rentals directly corresponds to the parts of the country where the job market is going strong. Areas that have seen a decrease include Florida, California, Arizona, Nevada and New Jersey, according to the article. Areas that have seen an increase in apartment rentals include Tacoma, Seattle, San Francisco and Oklahoma City.
Apartment Rentals: Searching Made Easy
Apartment rentals being on the rise means that the vacancy rate across the nation is going to be lower. It also means that finding apartments that are available is going to get more and more difficult without some assistance. ApartmentSearch.com is a valuable tool for people who are trying to find an apartment to rent. Our search function makes it easy for the apartment hunter to visit virtually any complex and apartment management office without ever leaving their home.