It may be in the later winter months, but it’s never too late to winterize your home! Many people believe that if they rent a home or apartment, they can’t do any kind of weatherizing to stay cozy and help cut costs. The truth is, you can do a lot to help your rental be warm, safe, and efficient. Some of the tips require little effort but a big impact. Others require a bit more work and may involve checking with your landlord to make sure it’s okay. It may be a rental, but you live there, so let us help you optimize your comfort!
Little Effort, Big Outcomes:
- Open your curtains. Opening your curtains during the day can help bring in a lot of warmth from the sun. Instead of leaving them closed when you’re not home, let in some light!
- Keep doors closed. If you have rooms that either are not heated or do not need to be heated, keep those doors closed. This keeps the rest of the house from getting cold and eliminates the need for your heat source to work harder to heat those rooms.
- Look for gaps. If you have gaps at the bottom of your doors, you could end up losing a lot of heat. You can buy a door sweep to install at the bottom of your door to seal the gap. They usually are not too expensive. Or, for a quick fix, you can use a towel to block the gap.
- Keep your feet warmer. Another inexpensive and simple solution to cold drafts coming up through the floorboards is putting some cozy rugs on the floor.
Bigger Effort, Bigger Outcomes:
- Insulate outlets and switches. Outlets can let in a good amount of cold air. You can buy foam outlet gaskets and outlet covers to seal the outlets. You can take them out whenever you want, making them easy to take with you when you move. This is a great inexpensive way to seal the gaps and it requires only a few small tools.
- Get curtains. Install curtains in rooms that don’t have any. They can keep a layer of warmth when you have them closed, especially at night.
- Unblock heat sources. Be sure that things like furniture are not blocking vents or radiators. This helps your heating system’s efficiency.
- Use ceiling fans. Ceiling fans are not just for cooling. If you put the fans in reverse it will push down the warm air to where you can feel it.
Before you start any winterization project, figure out where all the problem spots are. This will help you discover which areas need addressing so that you don’t waste time or money on areas that don’t require attention. If you think your rental could use a professional energy audit, we encourage you to speak with your landlord about getting a whole-home energy audit through the HEAT Squad. To schedule an audit or for any questions, visit www.heatsquad.org or call 802-438-2303.
Author: Bailey Aines, part-time NWWVT employee