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With winter comes many amazing things like cool winds, giant warm coats, and of course seasonal drinks and hot coffee in front of the fireplace. At the same time, it also means high heating bills during the cold winter months and often higher utility bills as well.
This takes an especially huge toll on renters who live in apartments because they already have so many other expenses to pay. So how do you keep your apartment warm and your heating bills down? While it may sound like a challenge, it’s not impossible.
There are many ways to cut down your heating bills while staying as warm and comfortable as you like. Here are a few of them.
Buy a humidifier
Humidifiers greatly help add moisture in the air to prevent dryness during the winter months, but more than that, they also help keep the space warm to a great extent because moist air feels warmer.
There is a special type of humidifier called a ‘warm mist humidifier’ that makes use of a heating element that helps boil water, produces steam, and creates warmth in your apartment.
However, keep one thing in mind: Many humidifiers consume a lot of energy, so make sure to choose the one that has low or decreased energy consumption.
Hot water bottle
This is an old-school solution for the cold weather and actually does quite a decent job at keeping you warm. While it’s not enough to warm up the entire space or apartment, it can be used to keep your feet, hands, bed and blanket warm when you are going to sleep.
Use winter-friendly textiles
Ever noticed how cold the floor becomes during the winter season? A simple solution for that is to use winter-friendly textiles to create a warm, comfortable, inviting atmosphere all throughout your apartment.
For instance, you can use thick curtains, cover the bare floors with rugs and carpets, throw snuggly blankets over the beds, and replace old bedsheets with flannel ones.
While this doesn’t entirely prevent cold inside the apartment, it does help create warmth and helps keep your heating bills down.
Be smart about temperature control
Research shows that when you turn down the thermostat by just by 1°C, it can actually help you reduce your heating bill by as much as 10%. Isn’t that incredible?
So, keep the dial down, save money and reduce your energy consumption by a large extent during the winter season.
If you want to cut down on your heating bills and stay warm at the same time, make sure that you use timers and programmable smart thermostats to adjust the indoor temperature accordingly. Installing a Wi-Fi-enabled smart thermostat offers a great, effective way to control your heating and also customize the heating program.
Be strategic with your fans
What’s important to note about fans is that their impact varies from space to space. In a high ceilinged property, for example, fans can be used to distribute warm air around the home. Fans may even be used to spread warmth from a less occupied space to a more frequented area.
On the other hand, exhaust fans are more likely to cool a home than redistribute heat. If you are unsure what type of fan to use and when to use it during winter months, consider using a temperature monitor to track what is most effective. Every home is unique, so you want to make sure you are doing what is best for you and your wallet.
Prevent heat loss from windows
Oftentimes, heat is lost through cracks and leaks in the window. The cracks also allow cold air to seep inside from the outdoors, making your apartment really cold.
There are a number of temporary fixes you can use to limit the heat loss without permanently impacting your rental. First, insulate the apartment windows by installing window films to prevent leakages. You can get your hands on a nice inexpensive insulation kit, which does a great job if you install it correctly. Second, consider adding rope caulk into cracks around sash windows.
The sun is your best friend during winter, providing both warmth and light, so why not make good use of it during the winter season?
Opt for a double layer of curtains, sheers and thicker decorative curtains. During the day, always keep your heavy curtains open and allow the heat to enter your apartment to keep it warm while sheers limit heat loss. When the sun begins to set, shut the heavy curtains, which helps form an insulation layer and retains the warmth inside your apartment.
Also don't forget to consult your landlord if there are any cracks or windows that require substantive repair.
One way to reduce the energy costs in your rental is by choosing the right space heater for your situation.
If you need to raise the temperature in a single room like a baby’s nursery or home office for multiple hours, while the rest of your place can be cooler, consider opting for an oil radiant heater. These heaters take a fair amount of energy to start but are very energy efficient when run for extended periods of time. Many of them also have safety features that prevent them from getting hot to the touch or creating a fire hazard. When paired with a cheap programmable plug timer these can be very cost-effective, low-effort ways to keep a zone comfortable, so you can turn down the thermostat elsewhere.
Alternatively, if you use a space infrequently for short periods of time you might be better off with the quick burst of heat that you can get from a simple cheap space heater.
Let’s not forget one of my favorite discoveries — an electric throw blanket — that I use at the desk in my home office. It keeps me warm while I work, so that I do not have to increase my bill heating up a big space. Just be careful to read the directions and warnings for space heaters carefully, since you don’t want to accidentally introduce a fire hazard to your apartment.
From using hot water bottles to sealing the window cracks to making use of natural heat, these hacks will help keep your apartment warm and heating bills down.
Read more information and tips in our Renting section