The days of frosty windows and six hours of sunlight are upon us. Brrrr! Here are six tips for staying cozy, saving money and being green.
Wait for a sale, then stock up on soup and hot cocoa/tea/instant cider. Also, pony up for a Netflix subscription. My plan is only about $9 a month and it includes nine hours of instant online movie viewing. What could be sweeter than an evening curled up in front of a classic old movie (or a hot new release) with a mug of cocoa stirred with a peppermint stick?
Likewise, load up on big fuzzy sweaters, the ones that feel like wearing a blanket.
Feeling stuffy? Invest in a dehumidifier. You can test the moisture content (humidity) of the air in your apartment with a cheap hydrometer, available at any hardware store worth its salt. Optimum humidity is between 30-50%. When my boyfriend first suggested we get a hydrometer, I sort of shrugged. “Who cares how much water is in the air?” I thought. Then we got it home and found that we’d been tolerating humidity levels more suited to the Amazon Basin than to northern California. Once we started running the dehumidifier -EnergyStar certified, which eases both bills and conscience- the difference was immediately noticeable. We joke that it’s nice we no longer have to swallow to breathe.
Two words: weather-stripping. Okay, one hyphenated word. The point is that fixing air-leaky windows and doors can make a big dent in your heating bill.
Two more words: flannel sheets.
My final tip for winterizing your apartment? Get out of it. Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean the world stops. Go to a play or snowshoe through your favorite park. Go on a holiday lights tour, especially if you’re new in town. Carpe winterem!*
*No, that’s not real Latin. Sue me.