Apartments can not only be cold and drafty, they can be like leeches on electric bills. Most all renters are familiar with automatic increases of energy costs during cold months. This is so common that many families budget for this added winter time expense. While winter energy bills may not be as low as other seasons, there are a number of little things which can be done to reduce this cost and make apartments much cozier.
Renters should carefully inspect their apartments to find any and all drafts. For example, most all doors have at least a small gap at the bottom that can be an energy vampire. There are cute little draft stoppers available at stores as well as patterns to make them on the internet. An old pair of pants or a rolled up towel works well to close off these drafts too.
Windows are a common source of cold drafts and are easily remedied. First, make sure all of the windows are closed. Next, examine the seals for air flow. If the windows are excessively drafty or cracks are obvious, this should be brought to the attention of the landlord. Tiny drafts may be covered with thick drapes or even throw blankets. Make sure to pull drapes or blankets back during the day to take advantage of natural warm, light.
Sinks, toilets, tubs, and showers can also compromise the coziness of apartments. Cold air is like a frigid ghost that seeps in through drains. A stopper can be placed in the drains to prevent this. Things as simple as pulling the shower curtain and closing the bathroom door can also be very helpful.
Certain types of flooring can make apartments feel as if they are in the artic, especially first thing in the morning. They are not exactly drafts; however, hard floors can create quite a chill. Carpet runners and washable throw rugs are a great solution to this. This is warm on feet, helps seal in heat, and can add a decorative, personal touch to any room.
Remember to set apartment thermostats between 68 and 70 degrees during cold winter months. It is also a good idea to turn them down by about 10 degrees when residents are sleeping. Most people are snug enough under warm covers during the night and this simple step can greatly reduce energy bills.
Consider purchasing an insulating kit for windows. They usually include heavy clear plastic, thin card board strips, and tiny tacks. This can completely seal the cold out of apartments. It is simple to seal windows with these kits; however, the process does take a bit of patients. It is also a good idea to check electrical outlets and switches to see if they should be sealed as well.
Ceiling fans are wonderful warm air circulators which can dramatically reduce winter electric bills. Another idea is to buy a small, portable fan to circulate the air, if there is no ceiling fan present. Take showers and bathes during daylight hours and wear more layers inside. Opt for warm beverages, bake desserts, and cook dinners in the crock pot. Believe it or not, a crock pot emits a great deal of heat during the time it takes to cook a stew. The same is true of baking cakes or pot roasts in the oven. It also makes the apartment smell wonderful.