As the weather gets cooler, my roommates and I are taking steps to keep our house warm. Since we have to pay our own utility bills for our apartment, it's likely to cost us a lot of money once must turn on the heat. In preparation for this, we're trying to conserve energy around the house wherever we can.
We contacted our landlord and had him switch out our existing thermostat for a programmable one. Doing this made it possible for all of us to come back to a warm house at the end of our workday without needing to have the heat running full blast while nobody's home.
My roommate Veronica also had the idea that we implement a "put on a sweater" policy. Rather than running to turn up the heat, if one of us is cold, we first put on slippers, socks or a sweater. If we're still cold a little while later, we can turn up the heat.
We added extra insulation to our windows and doors, and are trying to save money on other bills by taking shorter showers and making sure that we always remember to turn off lights when not in a room.
Another great tip that my roommate Laura came across was to open drapes during the day so that the sunshine warms up rooms, and to keep them closed at night to hold in warmth.
Simple tricks like this are good green habits to get into, and they have saved us a lot of money. Since we already have these policies in place, I'm not so worried about our heating bill going through the roof once the cold weather sets in.