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Image by Matthew Straubmuller, Flickr

Image by Matthew Straubmuller, Flickr

If your apartment is feeling a bit drafty, you can’t exactly hit the home improvement store and make a bunch of changes to your living space. Since it’s unlikely your property management has any desire to replace your windows or reinsulate your top floor residence, there are a few easy things you can do to keep yourself from freezing this winter.

Block Visible Drafts
Doors are often a major culprit in creating chilly spaces, and it’s because the weather-stripping on the bottom has failed and cold air is seeping in. Your property manager might not appreciate you adding weather-stripping to the door, so you’ll have to be a bit more creative. You can roll up a towel and place it at the bottom of the door, or buy specially designed door stoppers to keep the heat in and the cold out.

Insulate Your Windows
Unless you live in a new apartment building, chances are the windows are either outdated, or in need of some repairs. There are some simple DIY ways to make your windows more energy efficient. Window insulation film is quite good at keeping the cold out, but it will leave your windows looking cloudy while the film is on there. The kits consist of plastic shrink film you apply to the inside of the window with double stick tape, then they’re securely attached to the window with heat to shrink the film and remove any wrinkles. If you don’t want four months of cloudy windows, consider adding layered curtains to act as draft protection. You can shut them during the coldest parts of the day, while still having full sunlight in the mornings.

If the idea of blocking light is unbearable, consider solar shades. These will insulate your windows without obstructing the light. You can have them custom cut at various home improvement stores, and they’re relatively easy to install for the average layperson.

Close Doors to Unused Spaces
If you aren’t using a room, shut the door! If your heating isn’t that efficient, the last thing you need is more square footage that needs to be warmed up. You can shut your bedroom door, for example, and warm up with extra blankets when it’s time for bed. You should also shut doors to closets. Closing off a small space will make a noticeable difference in the temperature around the rest of the apartment.

Dress Warmly
This sounds like common sense, but it does help to wear warm clothes if your home is cold regularly. Even if your home is energy efficient, it makes more sense financially to turn the heat down and simply wear more clothes. Your utility bill will go down, and you’ll probably find yourself more comfortable overall.

Space Heaters
Heating the areas you’re frequently in will save much more money than heating the entire apartment when you’re cozied up in just the living room. Space heaters are very energy efficient nowadays, and can run for about 10 cents an hour. These heaters are mostly safe, but they should never be used overnight, or while you’re away from the home. Electronics do malfunction no matter how new they are, so these should still be used with great care.

If you have an outside unit for your apartment consider getting a custom cover for your AC unit during the winter months. This can help keep out debris and dampness, and make sure it works again in the summer.

Living in a drafty residence is never going to be easy, but there are a few methods you can use to make it more bearable. Whatever you choose, you can be assured your fingers won’t turn purple this winter. Not only will you be staying warm, you’ll also see a noticeable difference in your utility bill, and that’s always a huge plus!

This article was contributed by guest author Brooke Chaplan.