The Kuester Companies are committed to advancing the green initiative through our communities and in our offices. We install Energy Star appliances and low flow fixtures to help reduce waste and energy costs for our tenants; and in our offices, we strive to utilize technology to go as paperless as possible.
Below are some links that will guide you in environmentally friendly practices for your apartment.
National Apartment Association Green Communities Website
Green and Save
Make Me Sustainable
Water Use It Wisely
Check out list below for tips on how to reduce energy usage in your apartment!
- Be aware that appliances and devices that use electric heating elements are the most intense users of electricity and should be minimized. These include electric heaters, irons, toasters, toaster ovens, electric skillets, blow dryers with heat settings, curling irons, laser printers, vaporizers, electric blankets, electric kettles, coffee-makers, refrigerator defrost components and electric dryers.
- The largest energy users in apartments are, in order, refrigerators, air conditioners, and lights.
- Reduce the number of hours your equipment is left running unneccessarily. TVs, computers, monitors, printers, copiers and scanners should be turned off if they are not needed.
- Avoid leaving transformers and charging units for appliances and battery-operated devices (e.g cell phones, tools) on when they are not being used.
- Use your microwave oven as much as possible in the summer rather than your regular oven. You'll stay cooler and save energy.
- Defrost your refrigerator's freezer regularly so it can operate more efficiently.
- Use the right temperature setting for your refrigerator and freezer. Keeping foods colder than necessary costs more and rarely pays off in extended shelf life.
- Vacuum and clean the condenser coils, motor and evaporater pan of your refrigerator once or twice a year.
- Leave space between your refrigerator and the surrounding walls and cabinets to allow air to circulate around the coils.
- Organize your refrigerator and freezer to avoid leaving the door open while you locate items.
- Thaw, or partially thaw, frozen foods in the refrigerator before cooking. The frozen food will reduce the cooling requirements. Avoid putting hot dishes in the refrigerator.
- Put full loads in the dishwasher and use the 'energy saving' setting for the drying cycle or let dishes air dry.
- Freezer efficiency is increased by keeping it full.
- Use the energy-saver feature of your computer monitor (if available) to turn it off after it is not
- When you leave a room, be sure to turn off the lights.
- Locate lamps in corners and near light colored walls and ceilings to allow them to reflect light from two wall surfaces and provide more overall light.
- Keep your lights and fixtures clean, which can improve efficiency as much as 20%.
- Lighting accounts for about 15% of a home's electric use. By using energy-efficient compact-fluorescent bulbs instead of standard incandescent light bulbs, you use 75% less electricity. With the new generation of CFL's the light quality is excellent.
- Fluorescent lighting generates less heat than incandescent, which reduces cooling requirements.
- For fixtures where you use or prefer incandescent lighting, use 'energy saver' incandescent bulbs.
- Directing lighting at a specific area instead of lighting unused areas of the room saves on the cost of bulbs and energy.
- Only use your air conditioner when the outdoor temperature is above 70 degrees. Below 70 degrees, it wastes energy, and can damage the air conditioner.
- Keep shades and blinds closed during the day, especially when not at home, to reduce the effect of the sun's heat.
- Consider using room or ceiling fans instead of, or in addition to, your air conditioner to maximize cooling throughout your home.
- Setting the A/C's thermostat to the coolest position does not cool the apartment faster.
- Consider placing the thermostat at a slightly warmer setting. Maintaining your apartment a degree or two warmer may have little impact on your comfort but will reduce your cooling costs significantly.
- Take shorter showers. Reheating the water in a hot water tank uses a lot of energy.