Apartment Heating – As utility prices climb and the winter rears its hoary head, cost-conscious apartment owners and renters are looking for cheap ways to stay warm. Fortunately, heating an apartment, even one that is old and drafty, can be sufficiently accomplished with a few small investments of time and money. Many of these home improvements are temporary and therefore suitable for renters who are often are not allowed to make any major changes to their living space. These home improvements are perfect for little money or a low budget.
Here are a few tips for apartment dwellers on how they can keep the chillout and their budgets (little money or low budget) intact:
Winterizing an Apartment
Heat an apartment and stay warm with the following tips:
Cover drafty windows: In order to keep the warm air inside of an apartment and keep the cold air out, put caulk (look for products, such as DAP Seal N’ Peel which can be removed easily without damaging painted surfaces), or tape (packer’s tape works well) around the edge of any loose window panes where they meet the framework of the sash. Alternatively, one can cover “leaky” windows with a thin sheet of plastic, such as a clear vinyl shower curtain, as well as a set of upholstery curtains.
Draft-proof any outside facing doors: Use weather stripping and caulking along with the door frame and place a door-sweep or”draft dodger” along the bottom of the door. Alternatively, one can place a towel against the door bottom.
Insulate electrical outlets: Electrical outlets are essentially holes in the wall and often bring cold air into the apartment. Apartment owners and renters can get cheap outlet sealers made of styrofoam to help stop the draft from coming in. (Just remember to turn off the electricity before putting them it!)
Get a programmable thermostat: A programmable thermostat, which can be removed and taken to another apartment, later on, is relatively cheap and easy to install. Yet, this simple device can significantly reduce one’s utility bill.
Maximize the sun’s warmth: For those windows that face the sun, keep curtains and blinds drawn during the day to let the sunshine in and take advantage of the warmth it provides. Once the sun has moved away or gone done, be sure to lower the curtains and blinds again.
Cover the floors: Use strategically-placed rugs to make tiled or hardwood floors feel warmer.
Only heat the spaces being used: Instead of heating the entire apartment, make sure that the heat is concentrated in the rooms that are occupied. Close the doors to any unused rooms, as well as the heating vents and consider using “localized” heating sources, such as a space heater.
Keep radiators free of obstruction: Make sure that all radiators are unobstructed by furnishings and window coverings allowing the warmth to flow freely. One can also install heat-resistant reflectors between them and the walls to maximize the heat output. Finally, be sure to periodically clean the radiator surface since dust and dirt can also absorb some of the heat.
Get a humidifier: The moisture in the air makes it feel warmer. Alternatively, let the warm water remain in a bath a while before draining it out.
Close the fireplace damper: For those apartments with a fireplace, make sure that the chimney damper is fully closed.
Cook something: The heat of a stovetop or an oven can warm up the kitchen and its surroundings. Leave the oven open after the cooking has finished making the most of the heat is generated.
Additional Tips to Keep the Internal Body Temperature Up
There are several relatively cheap ways apartment renters and owners can keep themselves warm in addition to winterizing their apartment:
Dress in layers: Wear multiple layers of clothes. This is important. Look for warmer materials, such as flannel, fleece, and wool. It is important to ensure to specifically cover those heating escaping “hotspots”- i.e. the head, trunk, and feet. Put on warm socks or slippers, long underwear, a sweater, and find a warm, comfortable hat to wear indoors.
Move around: One can increase the internal temperature by remaining active.
Take a hot shower or bath: This is both relaxing and a great way to warm up the body.
Keep the bed warm: One can use an assortment of warm sheets, an electric blanket or electric heating pad, as well as a hot water bottle. (But not all at the same time!)
Eat warm food: Sip warm drinks, eat warm food, and stay away from spicy meals that can make a person sweat.
In short, with a little effort and a small investment of money, those who live in an apartment can heat their home and stay warm for the winter.