As winter sets in, temperatures continue to drop, and snow begins to fall, having proper insulation in your home is essential. If you're a renter, you might think your hands are tied and that unless your landlord makes some improvements, you will have to keep your heat turned up at all times if you want to stay warm.
We are happy to tell you that this is not the case. You can make some landlord-approved improvements of your own that will keep your heat staying right where it belongs: inside!
Here are five easy ways to keep warm in your apartment this winter.
1. Thermal Curtains
Installing insulated curtains is one of the easiest ways to keep your heat from escaping through old, drafty windows. They come in a variety of patterns and colors to match your decor and are easy to install.
If you suspect that heat is also escaping through your front door, you can even add a set of these curtains over your front door. This is also becoming a very popular design trend, even for those who don't need the added insulation. Curtains are a way to have fun insulating your home and also incorporating some great new design elements. It doesn't matter if you have wood blinds, plantation shutters, or even plastic blinds on your windows. Layering a pair of thermal curtains goes great with whatever elements you are already working within your home.
2. Wool Blanket
This is more of a DIY fix, but an effective one if you have cold air coming in beneath your front door. Simply fold a heavy, wool blanket until it is about 10 inches wide and place it along the bottom of your door. Alternatively, you can make your own door draft stopper to place at the bottom of your front door. This will ensure that the cold air stays where it belongs, as well as the heat inside your apartment from escaping. But make sure if you use a blanket that you use a material such as wool, as other materials like cotton will allow the air to move easily through it and right in and/or out the door.
3. Window Insulation Film Kit
Adding a film to your windows can be a great way to keep heat trapped inside, while also still allowing the natural light to come in. The downside to this method is that your windows will have to stay closed for the winter, so if you like to add a burst of fresh air on any rare warmer days, you would have to remove the film and start all over again. Also, be sure to check user reviews of these kits before you commit to one. Not all are created equal and you want a film that is going to stay put for the rest of winter.
Alternatively, you could go for an inexpensive DIY bubble wrap insulation for a similar effect. However, it may block some light, as well as whatever view you have from your windows.
4. Electric Blanket
While this isn't an improvement to your apartment, per se, it is a way to stay nice and warm at night without having to keep your heat turned on constantly. It is best if you slide the electric blanket between your duvet or comforter and your loose sheet to ensure that it stays put all night.
Many electric blankets also have settings that will come on periodically or that will shut off after a designated amount of time. This can save you money on your electric bill while still allowing you the get the warmth you need to fall and stay asleep. Play around with the options to find what works best for you.
TIP: Keep a pair of fuzzy slippers next to your bed so that you can slip them on as soon as you wake up in the morning.
5. Weather Stripping
If you have air coming in from the sides and top of your front door, adding a strip of weather stripping can help seal those cracks. The foam variety is usually your best bet, as the cracks around poorly insulated doors are rarely the same width all the way around. It also holds up a lot better than the felt stripping available in many hardware stores.
Whichever kind you choose, be sure to read the instructions on the packaging. Skipping steps can lead to the stripping coming loose or not staying put where you need it the most. Again, be sure to read user reviews for the best chance of getting a product that will last you through the winter and beyond.
A few additional things you can do to combat the cold this winter around your apartment include things you probably already have around the house. Keep a few extra blankets or throws out on your sofa for snuggling, stock your cupboards with plenty of your favorite tea bags or hot cocoa mixes, and perhaps most important, get creative in the kitchen. Winter is the perfect time of year for trying new recipes for dinner. So, in addition to enjoying some pretty delicious meals, you will also have the added bonus of the much-needed extra heat from your oven and stove radiating throughout your apartment.