With the colder temperatures on their way, many tenants are thinking about how to keep their apartments warm, all while maintaining energy efficiency without depending on their landlord.
If you’re trying to figure out how to insulate your apartment, these tips and tricks are budget-friendly.
Start With Your Windows
Did you know that you can lose up to 30% of your heat through your windows?
Fortunately, there are a few easy ways to prevent heat loss.
Buy a Window Insulation Kit
Sealing windows is an excellent choice for renters as it typically leaves no lasting damage.
We suggest using shrink-to-fit plastic for this step, available at most home goods or big box stores, along with online.
Items needed for this job will include a plastic window kit, scissors, tape measure, a hairdryer, and a ladder depending on how high the windows are.
A plastic window kit typically contains everything you need to complete the job.
Make sure to clean the windows before preparing to apply the film.
The next step is to cut the film to fit the window while leaving several inches on each side.
Apply the adhesive around the window, followed by the application of the film.
Using a hairdryer on the plastic will tighten the film.
Removal after winter is over includes pulling down the plastic and removing the tape, which will cause no damage to the finish around the windows.
Cover Your Windows with Heavy Curtains
Letting the sunlight stream into your windows during the day can help warm up your apartment during cooler weather.
The best way to trap the heat in your apartment at night or while you’re away is with heavy curtains.
Look for heavy drapes, specifically designed for insulating windows, or make your own by making multi-layered curtains.
Sealing Draft-Causing Cracks
Rope caulk is another item that is available at big box stores, online, or home improvement stores.
It is similar to putty that is unrolled to fit perfectly in spaces around windows.
The aforementioned can be done along with sealing your windows, but this step needs to be done first.
Unroll one of the ropes and fit it into window gaps or cracks.
The rope caulk is easily removed at the end of winter but doesn’t necessarily need to be, as it’s also good for warmer weather to keep the heat out.
Utilize a Humidifier
Humidity in your apartment not only adds moisture to the immediate area but also increases heat at the same time.
Some humidifiers also help purify the air. In addition, some people even add plants to their homes to keep more moisture in your home.
Humidifiers are available online or at big box stores.
Always read the instructions that come with the humidifier to ensure you’re using it properly and during the best times.
Maintaining a humidifier includes using the correct tools and cleaning supplies for operation and watching the filter and replacing it when needed.
Other important steps include cleaning it before each use, keeping the area around it dry, and using distilled water each time you use it.
Remember to wash and dry it before storage at the end of the season.
If you live in an older apartment, you might feel drafts around your outlets.
Insulating around your outlets are suitable for year-round insulation because not only does it keep cold air out in frigid winter temperatures, but also warm air in the summer heat.
One way to insulate the outlet is by using low expanding foam. Make sure to remove the covers on outlets on your outside walls and spray around the outside.
Never spray the foam inside an electrical box, as it can cause the wires to overheat.
The electrical foam is available at home improvement stores, big box stores, or online.
As with all modifications, make sure you ask your landlord for permission first.
In some cases, they may offer to do the insulating for you or offer a reduction in your rent.
Cover Your Window AC Unit
Your window air condition units are an enormous source of drafts in the winter months.
If you can remove your unit for the winter, do so, then insulate the window in the steps in the “windows” section of this guide.
If you are unable to remove the unit, cover it thoroughly with something thick, such as a blanket. Then packing the unit using items like sealing tape or foam.
It’s also imperative to seal the edges using something like the caulk rope, as mentioned above.
Reduce Any Door Bottom Gaps
There are several ways to perform this step, from do-it-yourself seals to purchasing door sweeps.
Seals and door sweeps can be used on all floors but are better suited for hardwood or laminate flooring.
It’s essential to clean off the bottom of the door before you install the door sweeps.
After that, you measure the door sweeps to the bottom of your door, mark it then cut off the extra part of the sweep.
Then you can install the sweep to the bottom of the door according to the directions included in the package.
Do-it-yourself door sweeps can be anything from pool noodles to handmade draft stoppers.
Pool noodles are available anywhere from dollar stores to online. Hold the pool noodle alongside the bottom of your door to measure it.
Cut off the excess, then use a knife to make a horizontal cut on top. It will then fit perfectly so you can slide the pool noodle on the bottom of the door to stop drafts.
Another DIY idea to stop drafts is a hand-made, do-it-yourself seal. You’ll need several old socks, a needle and thread, and scissors.
The filling choice can be quilt batting, dried beans, rice, or dust-free kitty litter.
Take your socks and measure several of them against the bottom of your door. When you find the perfect length, cut off the toe area, making it one long tube.
Next, sew them together making it one very long line. Then sew one end to seal it, leaving the opposite end open to adding the filling of your choice.
To finish off the project, fill the tube with your choice of stuffing. Lastly, sew up the last open end of the tube.
These can always be pushed up against the gap at the bottom of your door when you come back inside your house.
They can also be adhered to the door to seal the opening at all times.
Don’t Forget Your Floors
Floors, especially linoleum or hardwood finishes, tend to feel frigid in the winter.
What better way to warm up the environment is by using area rugs?
It will not only keep the cold from escaping into the air but it will also be warmer to walk on as compared to a cold bare floor.
The first step is to find a rug. Those can be found at furniture, specialty stores, or online. Choices in rugs range from area to thermal.
Insulated rug pads or heated rug mats are an added accessory that can help warm up your house.
The heated versions can be used as an alternative to space heaters and some can also turn off after a period, so it has that added safety measure.
The final step is placing the insulated rug pad flat on the floor, the heated rug mat on top, and the rug of your choice over the first two.
Adjust Your Thermostat
Keeping your thermostat set at the same temperature at all times isn’t always beneficial.
Not only is it a waste of both energy and money while in the long run, but it can cause wear and tear to your HVAC system.
Experts advise that you should adjust your thermostat overnight and when your apartment is empty by about six degrees.
While you’re away for more than a day at a time, it is proposed that you turn it down by ten or fifteen degrees.
If you don’t have control over your thermostat, talk to your landlord about adjusting the temperature.
The age and condition of your apartment, as well as your rental agreement, play a role in how well you can insulate your apartment.
While there are a few things you can do without your landlord’s permission, always make sure you reach out about any bigger projects.
If your apartment becomes uncomfortably cold or your utilities go up due to heat loss, talk to your apartment manager or landlord immediately.
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