If you’re a homeowner, you have tons of options to winterize your abode. Install storm doors, upgrade your heating system, build walls or take them down! As a renter, your options are a bit more limited. Does that mean you’re stuck wearing a blanket and mittens around your apartment all winter? Far from it! There are a handful of quick, easy, and even cheap damage-free ways you can prep your place for winter and lower your energy costs.
1. Open your curtains during the day.
Have you ever seen a dog or cat basking in the beams of light coming in from a window? They’ve got the right idea! By leaving your curtains open during the day, you’ll allow sunlight to flood your apartment and warm up your little space. It’s a small thing, but it can make a noticeable difference!
2. Mind the gaps!
Cold air can enter your home (and warm air can escape) through gaps underneath your doors. Take note if there are gaps between the door and floor, and block them up! You can buy “draft stoppers” or door seals online for fairly cheap. However, you can always go the free route and roll up a large towel to stick in the gap!
3. Decorate & insulate!
There are a variety of ways you can decorate your apartment that will also help you stay warm! One of the best things you can do is to insulate your windows by hanging up thick drapes. This will keep cold air out and trap warm air inside. Hanging rugs and tapestries on exterior-facing walls can also add a layer of insulation, keeping your space toasty warm. And don’t forget about your floors! Lay a big rug down to make sure cold air isn’t coming up through any cracks in the tile or hardwood. As an added bonus, your bare feet will feel much warmer on the coldest mornings!
4. Clean your radiators and vents.
The radiator and vents in your apartment have a tough job in the winter. If they’re filled with dust, they likely aren’t working as efficiently as possible. Grab a hand broom or duster and remove all the dust, cobwebs, and whatever else has accumulated in your vents and along your radiator. Who knows, you might find a stray sock or two. Now the heat can travel straight into your apartment!
5. Make sure your heat sources aren’t blocked by furniture.
This may seem like common sense, but you probably weren’t thinking about your heater and ventilation when you set up the furniture in your apartment. Make sure that you didn’t place a huge couch in front of your apartment’s main heat source! Leave clear pathways in front of your radiator and vents so heat can easily flow into the room without obstruction.
6. Run your ceiling fan in reverse.
We talked about this one before in winter hacks every apartment renter should know, but we had to include it again: ceiling fans are not JUST for cooling! Heat rises, which means any heat entering your apartment is going straight up to the ceiling, where you can’t even enjoy it! Somewhere on the ceiling fan there will be a switch to make the fan run in reverse – pushing the hot air down towards you. If you can’t locate the switch, ask your landlord.
If you’ve tried these tips and still can’t conquer the cold, you might just need to cut your lease short and find a new (warmer) apartment. After all, no one should have to wear their thickest parka 24/7 to be comfortable! Start browsing recently listed apartments for rent on ApartmentSearch, and see how you can get a $200 reward! If anything, do some comparison-shopping so that you can make your landlord aware of the winter-weather amenities other apartment complexes are offering – hints are always helpful!