A warm and cozy apartment creates a comfortable, inviting space for relaxing or entertaining guests. However, heating an apartment efficiently can be challenging, especially during extreme weather conditions. Luckily, there are several ways to help keep your apartment warm without breaking the bank.
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Here are nine practical ways to heat an apartment efficiently:
- Cover bare floors.
- Add weatherstripping around doors and windows.
- Keep drafts at bay.
- Install a smart programmable thermostat.
- Reverse your ceiling fan blades.
- Invest in thermal curtains.
- Insulate your attic.
- Consider a humidifier.
- Keep the doors closed.
After reading this article, you’ll learn more about practical ways to heat an apartment efficiently. By following my tips, you can keep your apartment comfortable and save money on your energy bill.
1. Cover Bare Floors
Bare floors are one of the biggest reasons behind heat loss in an apartment. They account for about 10% of heat loss, leaving your feet cold and your energy bill high.
To help reduce heat loss through the floor and make your apartment more efficient, consider covering bare floors with:
- Area rugs
- Floor mats
All of the above act as insulators, trapping heat and keeping your feet warm. Area rugs and carpets also add a touch of coziness to your living space, perfect for snuggling up on a cold winter day.
You can choose between various materials, including wool, cotton, synthetic fibers, or a blend of these. They also come in a variety of colors and patterns to match any décor. Just make sure the rug is thick enough to provide adequate insulation and comfort.
2. Add Weatherstripping Around Doors and Windows
Weatherstripping is an excellent way of preventing air leaks around doors and windows, which account for up to 30% of heat loss in an apartment. Cracks, gaps, and holes allow cold air to seep in, making your apartment drafty and chilly.
Applying weatherstripping around doors and windows is a quick and easy way to reduce heat loss. It seals the gaps and cracks, creating a barrier against the elements.
There are several weatherstripping materials, such as:
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To determine the amount of weatherstripping you need, take these steps:
- Measure the perimeter of the door or window to weatherstrip. Once you have the measurements, add 5% to 10% to allow for waste and trimming.
- Select the type of weatherstripping that best suits your needs.
To apply weatherstripping, simply clean the surface area around the door or window, then cut and apply the weatherstripping snugly into place.
3. Keep Drafts at Bay
Drafts are common in apartments, particularly around doors, windows, fireplaces, and electrical outlets. They allow cold air to seep in, making your apartment feel several degrees colder.
You can light a candle and hold it near doors, windows, fireplaces, and electrical outlets to check for drafts. If the flame flickers, you have a draft.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, reducing drafts in your apartment can save you between 5% to 30% annually on your heating bill.
There are several ways to seal drafts and prevent cold air from coming in:
- Install door sweeps on the bottom of doors.
- Caulk gaps and cracks around windows, doors, fireplaces, and electrical outlets.
- Seal gaps around electrical outlets with foam gaskets.
- Use a fireplace plug or cover to seal the opening when the fireplace is not in use
4. Install a Smart Programmable Thermostat
Smart thermostats are a great way to save money on your heating bill and make your apartment more efficient. They allow you to program the temperature for different times of the day, so you’re only heating your apartment when you need to, saving you 10-12% on heating and 15% on cooling costs.
You can program the thermostat to lower the temperature when you’re away at work or during the night when you’re asleep. The thermostat will automatically raise the temperature a few minutes before you wake up or come home, so your apartment is nice and comfortable when you need it. This way, you’re only heating your apartment when it’s really necessary, saving you a significant amount of money on your energy bill.
There are a variety of smart thermostats to choose from, each with its unique features. It’s essential to compare different thermostats to find the one that best suits your needs. Consider factors such as:
- Ease of use
- Compatibility with your heating and cooling system
5. Reverse Your Ceiling Fan Blades
Ceiling fans are a great way to circulate air and keep your apartment cool in the summer. But did you know they can also be used to keep your apartment warm in the winter? Since warm air circulates near the ceiling, reversing its fan blades pulls cold air upward, creating a gentle updraft that forces warm air downward. This helps to even out the temperature in your apartment and make it feel more comfortable.
However, this method is only effective in apartments with a conventional heating system. If your apartment has radiant floor heating, you should avoid using ceiling fans as they can circulate the warm air away from the ceiling, making your apartment feel colder.
To reverse the direction of your ceiling fan blades, simply flip the switch on the side of the motor housing. Modern fans have a remote control with a switch that allows you to change the direction of the blades without having to get up on a ladder. Keep the ceiling fan speed low when reversing to create a gentle updraft.
Here’s a short YouTube video by Del Mar Fans & Lighting demonstrating how to reverse your ceiling fan blades:
6. Invest in Thermal Curtains
Flimsy, lightweight curtains do little to keep heat in and cold air out. If your apartment has single-pane windows, investing in a good set of thermal curtains can significantly improve your comfort level.
Thermal curtains feature a layer of acrylic foam that helps insulate your windows, keeping the heat in and the cold out. Also, they reduce heat loss by up to 25% and block chilly drafts in the winter, keeping your apartment warm and cozy.
When shopping for thermal curtains:
- Look for a heavyweight fabric such as velvet or suede. The thicker the fabric, the better it’ll insulate your windows.
- Look for curtains lined with a thermal fabric, such as polyester or fleece.
- Choose a color that complements your décor.
7. Insulate Your Attic
If your apartment is in an older building, there’s a good chance the attic isn’t properly insulated. This can cause heat to escape through the roof, making your apartment colder and costing you money on your energy bill. Adding insulation to your attic is a relatively easy and inexpensive way to make your apartment more comfortable in the winter.
Insulation will also help keep your apartment cool in the summer by reflecting heat away from the building.
Fiberglass batts, cellulose, and spray foam are excellent choices for insulating your attic. If you’re unsure which one to choose, consult with a professional insulation contractor. They can assess your needs and recommend the best type of insulation for your apartment.
8. Consider a Humidifier
Unlike more expensive heating methods like radiant floor heating, a humidifier is a relatively inexpensive way to make your apartment more comfortable in the winter. Humidifiers add moisture to the air, making it warmer and preventing static electricity.
The moisture makes the air feel heavier through thermal expansion, so it takes longer for heat to dissipate, raising the temperature in your apartment. Dry air also exacerbates respiratory problems like allergies and asthma, so a humidifier can also improve your health in the winter.
When choosing a humidifier for your apartment, look for one specifically designed for your space’s size. Small apartments will need a smaller humidifier than larger ones. You should also look for a humidifier with an automatic shut-off feature to keep it from running dry.
9. Keep the Doors Closed
Even for a short period, leaving your doors open can let cold air into your apartment, making it feel frostier. Get in the habit of closing your doors when you’re not using them, including doors to closets, bedrooms, and the bathroom.
You can also do the following:
- Install a door sweep or draft stopper on your doors to help prevent cold air from coming in.
- If you have a fireplace, close the damper when you’re not using it to prevent heat from escaping up the chimney.
- If you have a pet door, make sure to keep it closed when you’re not using it to prevent heat from escaping through the opening.
Heating an apartment efficiently doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. There are several easy and inexpensive ways to make your apartment more comfortable in the winter, from covering bare floors with rugs to adding weatherstripping to your doors.
By following these tips, you can save money on your energy bill and stay warm all winter long. Be sure to consult with a professional if you’re unsure about how to insulate your apartment properly.