I’ve been living in rental properties for nearly a decade, and I’ve learned a lot about to look for in order to find a great place that doesn’t break the bank. The key is not just to find a place with a great rental price, but one that has appliances which will keep you from spending money elsewhere. It doesn’t matter if the rent is a hundred dollars below your maximum price if you’re spending twice that on heating and cooling or electricity bills. Newer is not always better–an apartment with fresh paint and beautiful carpets can be hiding electric baseboard heating and terrible ductwork; these can lead to hideously high winter heating bills. In the past, I was convinced that gas was the absolute best way to go. However, today I’ve reconsidered. While I still believe gas is the most affordable option, it’s more about the type of central heater, not the fuel. A furnace often means forced air, this includes ductwork that needs constant cleaning and sealing to say working its best. A boiler, on the other hand, uses pipes and either hot water or steam to heat a house. While the large metal radiators often associated with a boiler are not everyone’s favorite, the boiler still presents the least maintenance and the least chance of heating and cooling air losses. Since the boiler doesn’t use ductwork like modern forced air system, you also don’t need to worry about air conditioning filters or the cost of expensive repairs associated with more fragile furnaces. Boilers can also outlast other system, as long as they properly cared for with regular HVAC maintenance.