The first day of winter is quickly approaching, and you can already get a taste of what’s coming. Besides preparing for colder temperatures with winter clothing, warm blankets, and hot chocolate, it’s also a good idea to prepare your apartment for winter to help keep warm air in and cold air out and save on your utility bills. Here are five quick and easy ways to prepare your apartment for colder temperatures.
Bonus tip: If you live in a single family house, your utility company may provide a service to come and check for heat leaks and advice how to fix them.
1. Seal Drafts
Sealing any drafts near exterior windows and doors will help prevent warm air from escaping and cold air from coming inside. To find drafts in your apartment, hold a lit candle near the edge of windows and exterior door seals. If you have a draft, the flame will flicker. Once you find a draft window, seal the area with draft-sealing or weatherproofing tape. If your door is drafty, you can add a door sweep or foam weather stripping or use an old fashioned remedy – a draft snake you can make yourself. Your neighborhood hardware store or a big box store, such as Home Depot, will have all the supplies you’ll need.
2. Prevent Rodents
When the weather becomes cold, rodents start looking for warm places to live. To prevent mice and other pests from coming inside your apartment, inspect the outside and inside perimeters of your apartment for any holes, openings, or cracks near the foundation, the bottom of walls, pipes, or ductwork. Seal these areas with caulk, steel wool, or wire mesh. Even if you think the hole is too small, pests can still squeeze through, so be sure to cover every hole you find.
Use weather stripping and cover your windows with insulation sheets or even bubble wrap to help keep cold air out and warm air in. You can also hang thick thermal curtains to help insulate windows and prevent unwanted drafts.
4. Service Your Heating System
Whether you have central heating and air or gas heaters, have your heating system serviced to guarantee it is operating properly. You don’t want your heating system to fail the same day a blizzard comes through. Also, replace your air filters to help air circulate more efficiently.
5. Put Your Ceiling Fans on Reverse
For a quick and easy – and free – way to help warm your apartment, flip the switch on your ceiling fans. When you flip this switch, the rotation of the fan’s blades changes direction. This switch causes your fan to bring cold air up and push warm air down.