Cooler weather means sweater weather, hot drinks and shorter days. It also means you’ll have to turn on your heater. But staying cozy doesn’t always mean high apartment heating bills. On average, an American home spends around $112.59 on their energy bill every month.
Whether you’re looking to save some money or even just help the environment, there are small changes around your apartment you can do to lower your heat bill.
And none of them include wrap yourself in a blanket so you don’t turn into an ice cube, we promise.
Keep on reading to find out how you can stay warm this winter and not end up broke.
1. Seal up those windows and doors
If you live in a charming old home or apartment with older windows, you’d be surprised at how much heat escapes through your windows and doors. Heat gain and loss through those unsealed spots account for up to 30 percent of heating and cooling energy use.
Consult with your landlord before moving forward as they may offer to do it or replace the windows. Once you get the go-ahead, you can seal up those spots and leaks around your rental with weather stripping and clay rope caulking to winterize the apartment. Double-check that the window itself closes all the way.
You can also pick up a window insulation kit or magnetic window insulation that are easy to install to insulate the area. It’s a quick weekend project that will pay off in the long run.
2. Purchase a smart thermostat
It’s hard to remember when and what temperature it should remain on to save on heating costs during the winter. The solution? A smart thermostat. You can take it with you when you move out or have your landlord reimburse you upon purchase.
During winter, you’ll want to keep the thermostat set to 68 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and then 55 degrees Fahrenheit at night. So you don’t forget, set your thermostat to remember when to switch off as it learns your daily patterns.
3. Add beautiful rugs to your living spaces
Sure, blankets and chunky socks are great to stay warm, but have you thought about rugs? A beautiful area rug can enhance your living spaces with patterns and vibrant colors and bring it all together. But it can also work like insulation and keep your feet warm.
In older units, especially those with hardwood floors, a large rug in the living room can help keep the heat in place and insulate the area, so there are no leaks. Smaller rugs in the bathroom or by your bed will make the space even cozier and help protect the area further.
4. Double check your current furniture layout
If you moved quickly, you probably didn’t pay attention to all the vents on the floor and along the walls. Go around your apartment and double-check that none of the furniture, including couches, side tables, beds and credenzas aren’t blocking any of the vents.
This will help your apartment heating unit work a little less as the room will get warmer, faster. This is a great time, too, to reevaluate your winter bedding to keep even warmer.
5. Turn down your water heater
How high is your water heater right now? Yes, that contraption inside your utility closet. Check the temperature of your water heater and lower it by 10 degrees. If you need help figuring it out, ask your landlord to help you change it.
Turning it down to about 110 degrees will save you money month over month on your heating bill, and you’ll still stay warm while in the shower.
6. Keep the humidity high
Every winter, it’s almost like someone sucked all humidity out of your apartment, and your skin starts to dry up. Dry air can affect both you and your plants around the home. Pick up a humidifier for your bedroom and the living room as higher humidity helps keep the apartment feeling warm. It’s a win-win for your skin and your heating bill.
7. Close doors to unused rooms
Your apartment heating unit will attempt to warm up every nook and cranny in your home. But why is the laundry room getting warm if you’re not there? As soon as the temperature shifts outside, get in the habit of closing doors for unused rooms.
Close the doors to the bathroom, the closets, the guest room and the laundry room to allow the heating unit to concentrate on heating your living spaces and the bedroom. If possible, close the vents in there. It’s a simple trick that’s often overlooked but works like a charm.
8. Warm up (carefully!) with a small space heater
First, a disclaimer. Space heaters can be hazardous if not used correctly. Before purchasing one, check with your landlord to make sure they allow them. The leading factor that puts you in danger is leaving them too close to things that can burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing or mattresses, according to the NFPA.
Never leave your small heater unattended, don’t plug it into an extension cord, make sure that it’s kept a safe distance away from flammables and only use them in walled-in rooms like your bedroom and turn it off before going to sleep.
9. Consider thermal curtains for your windows
Energy-efficient thermal curtains can quickly help heat up your apartment as they have layers that act as insulation and keep heat in and cold out. In some instances, according to Energy.gov, heat loss can be reduced by 40 percent or more with thermal curtains, that’s about 20 percent in energy savings. In the summer, they’ll keep your apartment cool as well.
These curtains are available as a set of two panels for one window, hovering around $30-$40 each.
10. Use your ceiling fan
You would think a fan would be counterproductive in keeping your space warm, but that’s actually far from the truth. The better the circulation and airflow, the more energy-efficient your home will be.
Having your fan spinning clockwise on the lowest setting will trap heat inside to keep rooms in your apartment warmer, making a world of difference!
Let’s winterize your apartment
Every single of these tips will help reduce your apartment heating bill over the next few cold months and keep your wallet happy. If a window or a patio door isn’t closing correctly, have the landlord fix it as soon as possible.
Start small and then increase measures as you see results month over month. Those pennies will add up. You’ll stay cozy through the winter and have some fun money once the weather warms up.