Winter is close, and your home is getting cold – so how can you optimize your heating without doing too much work with your home, especially if it’s an apartment? Here are five ideas.
Check windows for drafts.
Especially if you live in an old house or building, your windows may not have the seal that newer windows do. If you can feel a draft, or if moisture collects inside your window, then it’s time to consider what you can do. For the best fix, get some plastic weatherproofing sheets. They come with 2-sided tape, and you use a hairdryer on it once it’s taped over your window to tighten it up. Another, less efficient option is to use blackout curtains that can keep cold air on the side of the room near the window, but cold air can still sneak around them.
Check outlets for drafts.
Many homes don’t have sufficient insulation around outlets. If yours is one (I know mine is!) then you have a few options. You can see if your rental agreement allows you to put more insulation in there, either fiberglass or foam (or just do it if it’s your house). You can also just get the babyproofing outlet plugs, and that should help a little bit, too. Every little bit counts!
Have a shovel outside your door.
Even apartment dwellers should have shovels if it snows where you are. Sometimes, you need to get out of your building before the maintenance crew has taken care of last night’s snowfall. This will help.
Keep an emergency kit stocked.
Candles, a lighter, flashlight, batteries, and a first aid kit. That’s your minimum winter emergency kit. Just in case some ice brings down your power, at least you’ll have a little light to get around. It’s a good idea to also have some bottled water and some food that doesn’t need to be cooked. Most places you won’t get snowed in, but you never know!
Check baseboards/boiler/other heating units.
Clean your baseboards, make sure nothing has accumulated in them since last winter. Like cat toys (I have 2 cats, and yes, I have found toys in there). If you have a boiler, then have your yearly maintenance done on it.
Once this list is done, it should help you get through winter a little bit easier, and maybe even help a bit with your winter heating bills! Stay warm this winter!