Keeping the Cold Out: Ways to Insulate Your Apartment for Winter

December 22nd, 2010 by

Taking the time to insulate your apartment for the winter will lower your heating bill because your furnace won’t have to work as hard to keep your apartment heated. You’ll also feel more comfortable in a warm apartment, in which cold air has a harder time coming in and warm air is trapped inside.

Talk to the Landlord about Weatherstripping/Caulking

Small cracks as little as one-eighth of an inch between your apartment walls and the outdoors can allow cold air from the outdoors to permeate your apartment and warm air produced by your furnace to escape. An integral part of taking the time to insulate your apartment is to patch these cracks to stop air flow. You may have to talk to your landlord about this, as the work may involve some permanent changes to your apartment foundation. Your landlord may even be contractually obligated to seal up the cracks for you. If not, you can use a caulking gun or weatherstripping to seal cracks surrounding windows, the door frame, dryer vents or any other place where your apartment walls open to the outdoors.

Use Window Plastic Film

Glass is one of the most common places for cold air to enter and warm air to escape your apartment during the winter. Purchasing a window film kit to help insulate your apartment can help decrease the air flow through your closed windows.

Use the double-sided tape in your kit around the windowsills and sliding glass door frame (if applicable). Then cut the film to size, leaving about an inch excess on each side. Secure the film to the tape and use a hair dryer to tighten the film. Come spring, you can simply pull off the film and tape without damaging the windowsills or door frame, so there’s no need to get approval from your landlord before you install the film.

Place a Draft Guard under the Door

Using a draft guard to help insulate your apartment is especially important if your apartment door opens to the outdoors, but it can also help even if your apartment door leads to a drafty hallway. Whenever you’re inside your apartment (especially overnight), place a draft guard along the bottom of the door to stop air flow. There are some draft guards that you can slide into place under the door and leave there. If you can fit one under your door, you may want to use this type of draft guard because it works to keep drafts out even when you’re not home and it blocks air both from the outside and the inside of the door.

Cover the Windows with Thick, Dark-Colored Curtains

When the sun is out, you may want to pull back your curtains on your windows and allow the sunlight to heat your apartment a bit. However, when the long hours of winter darkness are in effect, you should keep your windows covered. Thick, dark-colored curtains work to trap air and heat in place in order to help insulate your apartment.

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