Keeping Your Apartment Warm Until Spring

Share:

Keeping Your Apartment Warm Until Spring

Trevor Coulson · Mar 9, 2016

staying warm and cozy in your apartment

It’s blustery, it’s snowy – it’s time for a nice cozy blanket. But cranking the thermostat to keep you warm comes with a high price tag, or maybe you don’t even have control of your own thermostat settings? It may seem silly to invest money in a place you’re renting. But there are quite a few small investments that can actually end up saving you more money in your energy bills than you spent to buy them.

I recommend investing in as many of these as you can – they all will make a significant difference in your comfort, and may save you real money, even over just one winter!

Draft-stoppers

  • The first thing I recommend is going to your local home store and buying some coiled foam weatherstripping. This stuff is really easy to use – just peel off the paper backing and stick it. It’s best for things that open and close – windows and doors mostly. Anywhere you can feel a little breeze coming in, try installing a line of weatherstripping to block the cold air, and stop wasting heat!
  • At the base of doors, sometimes there’s a gap big enough to see right outside! Lots of places sell simple long, thin door “snakes” filled with cloth fluff, corn, or rice. They can get a bit pricey for the really cute ones, but are SO easy to make yourself for only a couple dollars.
  • Those little plastic baby guards you stick into outlets are not just good for stopping baby’s fingers and toys. They can also help stop drafts! Focus on the outlets around the exterior walls of your space, as those are the most likely to let in cold outside air.

Lights

  • This one might surprise you. A lot of people wait until their old “incandescent” lightbulbs die to upgrade to energy-saving options. But in reality, the energy savings from the change easily pay for the new bulb, usually in less than a year. It’s worth throwing out the old incandescent bulbs now and upgrading today! The big question: should you buy CFLs (swirly bulbs) or LEDs (the newest technology). I just bought LEDs for my place, because they don’t have any of the problems CFLs have been known for. However, CFLs tend to be less expensive, so might make more sense for you. Check out our Apartment Lighting Guide for more help choosing!
  • PLEASE, if you buy CFLs, be sure to dispose of them properly. They contain mercury, which should not go into landfills. Most hardware/home stores will take them back when they die and recycle them safely.

Water

  • A low-flow showerhead was once known for low water pressure and disappointing showers. New models come in a variety of designs and can be truly luxurious feeling! They don’t usually cost more than a few dollars for basic models, and some utility companies even give them away for free if you ask.
  • Faucet aerators. These cost about a quarter a piece and work by infusing air into the water stream in your faucet. You probably don’t want to use one in the kitchen where you want to fill pots quickly, but are great for the bathroom. They are usually very easy to screw onto the base of the faucet and save loads of hot water.

Next steps

Already done all of the steps above? Try out these next steps for a bit more savings, comfort, and environmental benefit.

  • Programmable thermostats save significant amounts of money, and can really increase comfort by letting you program your furnace to start heating a little before you get out of bed or come home in the evening. They probably won’t save enough on your bill to pay for themselves in the first year, but if you’re staying for 2 or more, this is a cost-effective investment, and for shorter stays it can be worthwhile for the added comfort. Most organizations recommend winter settings of about 68oF when you’re awake in the house, and 58oF when you’re sleeping or away from home.
  • Energy Audits. These are often offered at reduced cost by your local utility company. They might cost anywhere from $100-$500 depending on where you’re located and what’s included, but they help hunt down the things wasting energy in your home. Your energy auditor is an expert you can ask for recommendations about what improvements might have quick paybacks. One upgrade that is often recommended is attic insulation and air sealing – it costs several hundred to a couple thousand dollars, but makes a huge difference on comfort and energy bills. Talk with your landlord if you’re interested; sometimes they might be willing to share costs, since you’re improving the value of their property!

I hope you’re able to try a few of these and live a little more comfortably and affordably this winter. And the best part is, any improvements that keep cold out in the winter can also help keep out the heat in the summer! So get a head start now and set yourself up for great times ahead.

You might also like:

On ApartmentRatings, real renters have the ability to rate and review their apartment communities based on their experience touring and/or living in them. ApartmentRatings offers renters the ability to see what life is truly like at a community through a report card grade style format called epIQ. Every month we highlight a major city across […]

Jessica Lee

 · Jan 31, 2024

On ApartmentRatings, real renters have the ability to rate and review their apartment communities based on their experience touring and/or living in them. ApartmentRatings offers renters the ability to see what life is truly like at a community through a report card grade style format called epIQ. Every month we highlight a major city across […]

Jessica Lee

 · Dec 28, 2023