Posted Dec 1, 2014
How to Stay Warm Without Breaking the Bank
As cool air moves in during winter, it can be chilly at home–especially after the sun goes down. When the weather turns cold, you have two basic choices: crank up the heater or throw on extra layers. Aside from wearing warm socks and plenty of sweaters, many renters mistakenly believe that turning on the heat is only way to defrost.
If you want to stay warm without paying an arm and a leg, don’t worry. Here are quick and easy tips on how to stay warm without running up your utility bill.
Inspect Your Windows and Doors
Perfectly good, warm air could be escaping from your windows and doors–even when they’re closed. When your doors and windows don’t fit snugly in the frame, gaps are created that permit air to flow in and out of your apartment.
To guard against air leaks, inspect your windows and doors before cold air comes to town. Sometimes a quick and inexpensive sealant or caulk is enough to fill in the gaps around the frames. Not only does sealing the cracks keep warm air from going outside, but it also prevents frigid air from making its way indoors, too. Sealing cracks and gaps is an inexpensive solution, and your electric bill will thank you for it.
Change Your Fabrics
The cotton clothing that offered your skin a chance to breath in the summer should be packed away by now. Likewise, your light blankets and linen sheets are no longer doing you any favors. To stay warm without a heater, invest in wool blankets for your living room and flannel sheets for your bed.
Just a simple change in fabrics allows to you capture more of your own body heat and keeps your electric bill in check. Likewise, insulated curtains on your windows will keep warm air inside and prevent cold air and window panes from affecting the temperature of your rooms.
Electric Blankets Are Your Best Friend
If your new wool blanket doesn’t keep you warm enough, consider getting an electric blanket. Yes, an electric blanket uses some energy, but not nearly as much as central heating or a space heater. Turn your electric blanket on for an hour, and then turn it off. The blanket will hold its heat for a while after it stops running. Remember to turn off and unplug your electric blanket before you go to sleep as a safety precaution.
Use a Humidifier
Humid air feels warmer than dry air. Think about how toasty your bathroom feels immediately after you get out of a hot shower, and you can start to imagine how a humidifier will keep your rental warm this winter. Run a humidifier in your bedroom for an hour or so before you go to sleep to rid the room of winter chill.
Humidifiers are typically mobile and relatively small, so they can easily be moved around your apartment. Humid air may also feel good on dry, cracked skin and sore throats, which are common during winter.
Allow Natural Light Inside
When the sun is shining outside, allow it to become the ultimate energy-efficient heating utility. Rentals with large windows on the east side of the unit should always have curtains drawn in the morning, while windows on the western side are begging to have curtains open in the afternoon.
Apartments with a great deal of southern exposure also allow you to take advantage of sunlight as a source of heat throughout much of the day. If you have privacy concerns, consider installing a sheer set of curtains that remain closed behind your regular ones.
What tips do you have for staying warm without increasing your electric bill? Follow us on Twitter and share your advice for staying toasty this winter!
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Photo Credit: hollin.elizabeth