How to Talk to Your Roommate About Keeping Apartment Costs Low in Summer

By Kaitlin Hurtado

As we get deeper into the summer season, many aspects of our lives are experiencing some form of change. For some of us, that change could be arriving in the form of higher utility bills as the weather gets warmer and you and your roommates are adjusting to the temperature change. Everyone has different responses to the warmer weather. For some, it’s a welcome change as they love sunny days and warm temperatures. For others, the heat leaves them feeling miserable and doing just about anything they can to keep cool. One of the easiest ways to keep cool, of course, is blasting the AC and every fan possible to keep your home chilly despite the warm weather outside. Unfortunately, this plan of action will result in a higher electricity bill that will definitely challenge your carefully planned budget.

While you may be okay with spending more time in a warmer apartment for the sake of cutting your electricity bill, your roommate may not be okay with your new strategy. Before you know it, your electricity bill could be your latest source of roommate conflict in the summer months. If you aren’t sure how to tackle the conflict, keep reading for tips on how to talk to your roommate about keeping apartment costs low in the summer.

Roommate Finder: How to Talk to Your Roommate About Keeping Apartment Costs Low in Summer
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Avoid passive-aggressive actions and keep open communication

Just as you would approach any roommate conflict, avoid being passive-aggressive as a solution. If you notice your roommate has turned on the AC a little too high or has multiple fans going on, don’t be quick to just turn the appliances off without consulting your roommate. While turning them off may be the quickest solution in your mind, it will likely only build up more tension and ill feelings surrounding the conflict from both ends. For you, you are not giving yourself the opportunity to explain the intentions and reasoning behind your choice to turn off the AC and creating more opportunities for misunderstandings. For your roommate, they’re likely going to feel like their wants are being ignored and are going to get the impression that you only care about things going the way you want them to.

Instead, get ready to tackle the topic head-on by discussing the situation with your roommate. Come ready to the discussion ready to discuss your side of things. Why are you feeling the way you are about the situation at hand? How would you like it to be resolved?

Be ready to compromise

When you are discussing the conflict with your roommate, it’s important to not come into the discussion expecting to get your way at the end of it. If you are coming into the discussion with that mindset, you are already creating a mental block in your thought process. You are not going to be able to hear and understand your roommate’s way of thinking if you are completely deadset on your own. More than likely, the discussion is going to end in a stalemate where both parties aren’t willing to compromise or even at least try to understand the other’s point of view.

Sure, prepare your talking points in order to get your point of view across, but don’t make it the focus of the conversation. Say your piece and be ready to listen to your roommate’s in full. You may find that you understand where they are coming from more than you thought you would. As much as you want your roommate to just go with your way of thinking, that’s probably just wishful thinking. Be ready to come up with a compromise that leaves both you and your roommate satisfied.

Introduce alternate ways to keep cool

Part of crafting the perfect compromise is introducing alternate solutions to the conflict. While your roommate may not exactly be getting their way of blasting the AC 24/7 until the weather cools, that doesn’t mean they have to suffer through the heat for the rest of the summer. Come up with some ideas that will keep your living space (and roommate) cool while keeping costs low this summer.

– Share common spaces when both of you are home. If you and your roommate are planning to blast the AC or keep a fan or two on, why not do it in the same room? Keeping one room cool is going to be a lot more budget-friendly than keeping multiple rooms cool, so discuss keeping the AC or fans on in shared spaces like the living room so you and your roommates can enjoy the chill and keep electricity usage low.

– Cool down during the nights. It may seem counterproductive to let outside air in during the summer months, but if it gets chilly at night, use the opportunity to leave a few windows open overnight to let your space air out and get some cooler air in.

– Keep the sun out. While the sunny weather is bringing tons of natural light into your living space, it’s also bringing in the heat. Consider keeps your blinds shut during the sunny hours of the day to limit sun exposure and keep your living space cool. If your blinds are fully covering a window that is getting direct sun, you can reduce heat gain by up to 45%.

If you are able to offer efficient solutions to the conflict, your roommate will likely be more willing to see your side of things and be more likely to reach a compromise. With these tips in mind, you can approach your roommate with full confidence and make this conflict one of the past.

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