Genius Winter Heating Hacks to Keep Your Apartment Cozy (and Eco-Friendly)
Constantly cranking the thermostat? This year, you can do one better: for your house, your wallet, and the Earth.
Now that winter is upon us, we’re rounding up our favorite heating hacks to keep things toasty at home, no matter how far the mercury falls. Bonus: keeping an apartment or small house heated is already simpler, cheaper, and greener than a larger space. Three cheers for city living!
INSULATE, INSULATE, INSULATE
Careful where you point that thing. It could save you money this winter.
The most important rule of keeping your apartment warm? Prevent the cold from creeping in in the first place. We’re talking about you, windows—the major source of chill during the winter months.
Begin by sealing up any frosty seams around your windows with the help of a caulking gun. (Here’s a nifty how-to for first-timers, if you don’t consider yourself to be of the “handy” persuasion.) Or go even simpler with caulking cord, which you can apply with just your fingertips—and which can be peeled off in seconds come springtime (helpful if your landlord’s not a fan).
Blessed cursed with single-glazed windows? Here’s where things get thrifty. In one hand: a window insulator kit of plastic sheeting, which can be applied straight to the glass. In the other: a hair dryer, to help it shrink and set. If you want to go even simpler—and aren’t wedded to your views—bubble wrap is also an undercover insulating pro.
The final touch to getting your windows winter-ready? Matching curtains. Thermal curtains (especially those with a rubber backing) were made for chilly winters.
HOT AND FRESH IN THE KITCHEN
Your oven is like a furnace. That makes cookies.
In winter, more than ever, the kitchen is your friend.
Your oven isn’t just a great way to bake cookies and warm stews; it also generates residual heat that keeps things cozy for hours. Get something baking, and make yourself some tea while you’re at it and make the kitchen your new place to (de-)chill.
Another of our favorite heating hacks? Since humid air holds heat better than dry air (fun fact), try out a humidifier for your pad…or, you could leave a big pot of water simmering on the stove, or bowls of water safely propped on your radiators (if they’re of the steam variety). Throw some cinnamon sticks and other winter spices into the mix, and your apartment will fill with warming aromas, too. Festive bonus points.
COZY GAME ON POINT
Simple pleasures like hot tea and comfy material like fleece and wool will keep you feeling warm inside and out.
You’ve warmed up your house from the outside in. Now, it’s time to make sure that your own cozy game is on point, too.
For starters, we’d advise making smartwool socks, fleece-lined leggings, giant thrifted sweaters, and a good beanie part of your wardrobe. Like your grandparents always said: layer up.
Then there’s your bed. Invest in a set of flannel sheets and an old-school hot water bottle to tuck at the foot of your bed—all the better to prevent frozen toes. Add a cuddly poochor kittyto the mix and you’ve got one more source of heat.
(P.S. All those workout apps you’ve downloaded, and keep meaning to try out? There’s never been a better time to break a sweat in your living room.)
BONUS HEATING HACKS
More than warming the mood, candles are a cheap hack for spotting heating trouble spots.
There’s nothing we love more than a bit of thriftiness, and these MacGyver-esque heating hacks are the ones to beat.
Want a portable heating pack for home use? With this tutorial, all you need is fabric, rice, a sewing kit, and a microwave. Likewise, if you’re handy with a needle and thread, make a simple draft stopper for use around doors and windows.
Your pad still feeling a bit chilly, even after insulating? Instead of dropping hundreds on a high-tech thermal imaging test (kidding), just use a candle. Set it up (safely) in different places around the house and watch for any telltale flickers, which will point you to secret drafts. (Plus, more festive aromas for the win.)
All those candles you’ve stocked up from past gifts and dinner parties? Now’s the time to put ’em to work. (Just be sure to blow them out when you leave the room.)