Winter is coming.
Game of Thrones references aside, the cooler weather means it’s time to take a look at your apartment – and how warm you’ll be during the cold winter months. When you winterize your apartment, it will not only help to keep your home warm and toasty, but it can save you a lot of money on your energy bills over the course of the season.
Here are a few great ways to get your apartment ready for the frost and chill of winter.
1. Clean your air ducts
Dust and buildup in your ducts and vents can damage your heating system, which makes it run less efficiently. On top of that, dirty ducts can put a lot of dust in the air, which is harmful to your health and can cause you to get sick often. The only way to combat this is to clean your ducts. It’s best to get this done professionally, but if you don’t want to fork out the cash, you can do it yourself.
2. Draft-proof doors
Doors are one of the main ways that cold air makes its way into your apartment. Check the caulk and weatherstripping around the doors that lead outside, making sure all cracks and gaps are filled in.
If there are windows on your doors, use film to insulate them. Buy or make a DIY draft stopper to place at the base of each door as an added preventative measure, especially if there’s a large gap.
3. Insulate windows
Windows can cause of a lot of heat loss. You can use self-install window insulation film (available at most hardware stores) to keep the heat in and the cold out.
If you don’t already have curtains, get some. When curtains are closed, it creates an extra barrier against the cold outdoors.
4. Insulate electrical outlets
Electrical outlets can actually let in cold air. Although there are foam inserts that can be installed under outlet covers, they usually don’t stop a draft from slipping through. Like a door or window, you can insulate your outlets to prevent drafts by using caulk and foam insulation.
5. Use a humidifier
Although humidity doesn’t actually create more heat, when there’s more moisture in the air, it can feel warmer. Humid air retains heat better than dry air, which will cut down the time that your heater is running and – you guessed it – save you money.
Besides the financial benefits, humidifiers are good for your health and can help with colds and common winter sicknesses, too.
6. Reverse your ceiling fan
If you have any ceiling fans in your apartment, don’t think they’re useless until summer rolls around. Most of them have a switch to reverse the direction of the blades.
In summer, fans should force air downward to cool the room, but in winter, it should rotate in the opposite direction. This will create an updraft and help redistribute the warm air in the room. Using a ceiling fan can reduce the amount of time you run the heat and save you a few bucks on your electric bill.