Six ways to survive winter in your first apartment
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.