- Home Improvement
Tips on How to Keep Your Apartment Warm in the Winter, Cut Your Heating Costs
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Keep Your Home Warm and Costs Down
In winter, you want to stay warm, but you want costs to stay low. These tips can help you do both. A combination of adding insulation, using passive energy, and humidifying the air can keep your home warm without breaking the bank.
The first task is to assess your goal. If you pay for heat each month, your goal may be to keep costs down and comfort may come second. In many apartment dwellings, however, heat is included in your rent, so cost is not an issue. In these situations, the tenants rarely have control over the amount of heat that comes in, so comfort can be the most important issue.
First, take a survey of your home. Are there places that are particularly cold or drafty? Those places may pay the greatest dividends.
Many hardware stores sell window wraps that go on the inside of windows. These wraps only cost a few dollars and seal out cold air. By trapping a layer of air in between your home and the outside, it stops drafts and adds a layer of insulation. Trapped air is actually a great insulator. Wrap every window or just the greatest offenders in the rooms you use the most. The greatest benefit, of course comes from completely sealing up your house.
Next, focus on doors. Now, you can't wrap these in plastic or it would make coming and going an ordeal. You can, however lay draft dodgers across the threshold and seal up any cracks in the door or door frame.
Now focus on the heat. If you live in an older apartment or house with floorboard radiators, they may need to be cleaned. The fins on these radiators get clogged with dust and spiderwebs. When air can't properly circulate across these fins, the radiator does not heat the air efficiently. If you can't control the amount of heat in your apartment, this is a great tip to maximize your share of the heat. Be sure that furniture or plants don't block the radiators as you might be heating the backside of your couch more than the air in the room.
Next, use passive energy. During the day, open all window shades and blinds to allow the maximum amount of sunlight in. This sunlight heats the room and keeps you sane in the winter. At night, close the shades to add another layer of insulation to the window.
Finally, use humidifiers in rooms you use most often. These do not cost much to run, but can make a big difference in the comfortableness of a room. Humid air feels warmer–just ask Florida. In the winter, humid air holds the heat alleviates dry nasal passages and makes the room more pleasant. Be careful not to over humidify a room, as it can form condensation and mold.
These tips can help keep you warm at a low cost. While some recommend space heaters, remember, these cost money and are often less efficient than central heat. They can also be dangerous. So if these tips above are not sufficient, try the old fashioned method. Put on a sweater, get a blanket, and make some hot tea.