Warming Up Your Home (Without Raising Your Utility Bill)
The weather outside is frightful, but so is your utility bill. That means you need to look for innovative ways to heat things up in your apartment without cranking up the thermostat. Fortunately, there are many ways to raise the coziness quotient without adding to an already sky-high heating bill.
- Check Your Windows and Doors: Check for drafts around your windows and doors and employ some cost-effective methods to stop the wind from howling through. At window and door frames, a little clear caulk will seal up drafts and keep them from coming back, saving you money now and next summer. If your windows are not double-paned and insulated, add a second layer of insulation on the cheap by purchasing and applying plastic sheeting to the windows. Use a hair dryer to get out wrinkles and people won’t even know it’s there.
Another way to insulate windows is to add heavier draperies in the wintertime. These help to catch drafts before they come into the room and make the whole apartment feel cozier. And don’t forget to add a rolled up towel at the bottom of the door to stop drafts from coming underneath.
- Consider your floors: If you have hardwood floors, area rugs are a must. You can find many affordable rug designs or, if you’re pinching pennies, purchase a carpet remnant for use during the winter months to keep things warmer underfoot.
Also, be sure you’re wearing something on your feet during the cold weather. Even if you’re normally a barefooter, you’ll need socks or slippers during the colder months to help you stay toasty.
- Revamp your bedding: Crisp cotton sheets are misery-making on those cold winter nights and can make getting into bed feel like sliding on ice. Make your bed with flannel sheets, an extra blanket, and a heavier comforter (or a throw on top of your regular comforter). Want a heavy comforter on the cheap? Work on those sewing skills (or enlist the help of grandma) and sew two flannel flat sheets together, making a flannel duvet cover to fill with your current comforter. It will bulk up the warmth factor at very little cost or added weight.
Want to get really toasty? Consider an electric blanket. They don’t cost much and you might find that you can even turn down your thermostat a degree or two at night without noticing.
- Add some humidity: Humid air feels warmer than dry air, and it’s better for you, too. Central heating can dry your air out, with many negative consequences including:
- Dry air makes it harder to get over a cold.
- Dry air dries out the glue on your furniture and makes it fall apart more easily.
- Dry air hurts your skin, already damaged by cold winter air, chafing, and chapped lips and hands.
- Dry air compromises your immune system, making you more susceptible to illness.
How can you combat dry air and make your apartment more comfortable? Purchase an inexpensive humidifier and keep it running each night. Open the bathroom door and let the steam from your shower fill the apartment. Even keep a pot of water boiling on the stove to get some moisture into the air. You’ll feel warmer, and healthier.
- Warm yourself first: Make sure you’re staying as warm as possible before you raise that thermostat. Here are just a few ways.
- Dress in layers.
- Put throws at your various seating areas and wrap up.
- Drink warm beverages and eat warm or spicy foods.
- Get up and clean, dance, exercise, or do something to get moving and keep your circulation going.
- Take up a hobby that keeps you more active. Perfecting your gourmet baking, for example, will keep you a lot warmer than vegging out in front of Netflix.
There are many ways to stay warm this winter without breaking the bank. And with all of the money you’ll save on utilities, you can upgrade your apartment to the size or neighborhood you’ve been dreaming of. Contact your Boston Pads pro to help you find your ideal place and all of the help you need from real estate agents to movers to decorators. Let’s get started!