And while most people know how to prepare themselves for winter in NYC – invest in a warm jacket, hat, gloves etc… we don’t always know how, or if, we should be taking steps to prepare our apartments as well. In the article, we’ve put together a couple tips to help you stay warm, save money, and avoid stress this winter in NYC.
1. Find and Seal Drafts
Sealing a draft in your apartment before it gets too cold is a serious life-hack! Drafts from windows and doors let in cold air and allow warm air to escape and the colder the temperature outside the greater their effect. In the heart of winter an unattended draft can significantly cool your apartment and make your heating bill skyrocket. In order to proactively avoid this, be sure to find and seal them before they become a problem!
To quickly find drafts in your apartment – light a candle and hold it up to the edges of each window and door in your apartment. If the flame flickers – you probably have a draft nearby. Sometimes you can even feel the draft by patting the edges of your windows and doors.
If you find a window draft, seal the area with weatherproofing tape. If you find a door draft – try installing a door sweep. If that doesn’t work, contact your landlord, or a hardware store like home depot for specific advice on DIY door insulation for your apartment.
2. Insulate your Windows
Even if you don’t have any obvious window drafts, windows are major source of heat loss in any apartment and so taking steps to insulate them can save you a lot of energy. To do it effectively, use weather stripping and cover your windows with insulation sheets (or even bubble wrap). This is a very important step in keeping the cold air out and the hot air in. Closing your curtains, or putting up a tapestry/blanket over the insulation sheet while you are out of the apartment can also help a lot to keep your apartment warm.
3. Proactively Obstruct Rodents
Don’t have rodents in your apartment? Let’s keep it that way. When the weather outside gets cold, rodents start looking for warm places to live. And their search for warmth is often not limited to the first floor of an apartment building.
To prevent mice, rats and other pests from coming inside, inspect the outside and inside perimeters of your apartment for any holes or cracks before it gets too cold. If you find a hole, or multiple holes, fill them with caulk, steel wool or wire mesh. If you find a hole that you think might be too small, fill it anyway. Pests, especially mice, are surprisingly talented at fitting through the smallest of holes.
4. Check your Heating System
Whether you have central heating and air, or gas heaters, nothing is worse than having a poorly working or broken heating system in the middle of the winter. In order to avoid this – take all the necessary steps to make sure that your heating system if operating properly.
If you have air circulation – replacing your air filters will help warm air circulate more efficiently and this will save you lots of energy and money. If you have ceiling fans – changing the rotation of the blades will cause the fans to push cold air up and warm air down – also warming your apartment and helping you save.