This Tuesday, December 22, marks the Winter Solstice – the longest night of the year. While this is the official start to winter, in many places, winter is already in full effect. As schoolchildren, college students and others wrap up their studies and testing, their thoughts quickly turn to enjoying the holiday season – including throwing a snowball or two.
For apartment renters, winter is a terrific time of year. These are the top reasons why, when it comes to winter, renting rules:
Do You Want to Build a Snowman?
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With winter on the horizon, anxiety can arise for apartment dwellers who choose to maintain outdoor plants. All it takes is one particularly strong freeze, and several plants can be gone overnight. However, there are a few precautions you can take so you won’t have to start over in the spring.
1. Insulate in the Evening
A common trick for potted plants is to wrap them in various materials overnight so that the roots don’t freeze. You can use blankets, sheets, styrofoam, or tarps. It’s important to note that the insulation should be wrapped around the pot, not the actual plant, since keeping the roots alive is most important. Another way to keep the plant itself healthy is by installing poles around the plant, wrapping plastic around the poles, and then filling the space with insulative material. This creates a kind of nest around the plant to keep it warmer. Make sure to take the covering off of your plants during the day so they can get sunlight, and then repeat the process as needed.
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As the temperatures plunge, our furry family members are certainly feeling the cold the same as we are. There are a few ways to take care of your pet this winter, and your apartment community can even help with some of those tasks. Our top five tips are: Read the rest of this entry »
Winter is swiftly approaching, which means as the temperatures drop, heating bills rise. Considering last year’s extreme winter weather (known as the Polar Vortex), it’s likely you want to cut down heating costs while still staying warm this year. By changing a few habits and utilizing tools you already have in your apartment, you can easily save a few bucks this winter season. Read the rest of this entry »
As mornings grow crisper and temperatures drop, we find ourselves shuffling from one hub of warmth to another, cutting down the time spent in low temperatures and biting winds by as much as possible. Thus, we expect the apartment we return home to at the end of the day to be our castle of warmth and coziness. By taking some time to winterize your apartment, you can ensure that the cold will stay out and the heat will stay in – without incurring a ludicrous heating bill the next month!
- Check the heating vents. Make sure that there are no couches, tables, or any other furniture pieces obstructing the flow of air through your heating vents and keeping much-needed heat from making its way into your rooms. In addition to clearing the vents of any obstructions, consider changing the air filter if it is dirty. A clogged air filter will make your heating system work harder to pump warm air into the room, driving your already-high heating bill even higher during the cold winters.
- Close and insulate the windows. As common-sense as it may sound, check all the windows in your apartment to make sure that they are closed and locked – and that they remain that way throughout the winter. A lot of heat in the apartment can be lost through cracks and gaps in the window frames or through the thin windowpanes themselves. To fill in cracks and gaps in between the frame, get some weatherstripping material from your local home improvement store – these materials are usually cheap and the insulating effects are long lasting. You can also look into window insulation kits that allow you to insulate your thin windowpanes or sliding glass doors with plastic lining to reduce the amount of heat that escapes.
- Draft-proof the doors. One of the places where heat escapes and cold air enters most easily is through the gap between the bottom of the door and the floor. To keep your hot air in, install a door sweep or draft-stopper – both of which can be found easily at a home improvement store. Be sure to check in with your landlord before making any major changes or modifications to your apartment!
- Use interior design to your advantage. While it’s a great idea to open the curtains and let the sunlight bring some natural warmth to your apartment during the day, nighttime requires much more insulation. Thick, dark curtains over your biggest heat-leaking windows will help trap heat in the apartment – think heavy fabrics like velvet. In addition to thick curtains, consider throwing down thick, plush rugs in the living room and bedroom where there’s the most foot traffic. We can all agree that walking barefoot on icy-cold floors is high on the list of winter unpleasantries!
By taking little steps to insulate your fortress of warmth, you can enjoy a cozy, comfortable winter indoors. Have more apartment winterizing tips? Share them with us on Facebook or Twitter!