Renting 101: Winterize Your Home
By Dave Fleming updated 04/18/2019
Some quick, easy, and most importantly cheap steps to take to help make sure you stay nice & toasty all winter. Use the following tips to minimize heat loss and maximize efficiency of your home:
- Close your storm windows Probably the easiest and most overlooked way to make sure the heat stays in. Raise your screen windows and lower your storm windows for the extra layer of protection from winter.
- Open your curtains during the day Another simple strategy is to make sure you open your curtains during the day, especially for windows facing the sun. Turn on nature's heater!
- Keep doors closed If you have a large closet or any other rooms that aren't heated (and don't need to be), keep the doors closed to minimize the space requiring heating. This also eliminates the need to insulate these small spaces.
- Seal Windows with Plastic Heat will inevitably escape through your windows, so minimize the loss with a cheap & easy plastic seal. Just pick up some shrink & seal plastic film at your local hardware store, grab a hair dryer, and you'll have every window in your place sealed up in no time. Just make sure you measure each area you will be covering so you are sure to get enough plastic.
- Seal Thresholds You can lose a lot of heat at the bottom of your doors, especially ones with large gaps. You can buy a plastic "door sweep" that runs along the bottom of the door to close up a large. A nice DIY project is making your own "draft snakes" to place at the bottom of each door to the outside. Simply measure the width of the door, get fabric long enough to cover the gap, fill it with sand or kitty litter, and sow it shut. Of course, a towel across the bottom of the door is a nice quick fix.
- Install Weather Stripping It costs $5 and takes 5 minutes to seal up drafty exterior doors and windows with a rubber foam strip along the edges.
- Caulking Check around all your doors, windows, and corners and you might find small gaps. Caulking is a breeze: apply caulk to gap then rub a moist finger along it to push caulk into crack while removing the excess.
- Insulate outlets & switches You can purchase foam insulators that insulate behind your cover plates at your local hardware store. These take seconds to install and can really cut down on draft, especially exterior wall outlets & switches.
- Check your heaters Any heating system should be checked out annually by yourself, your landlord, or a heating professional to make sure it is running safely and optimally. Make sure to ask your landlord if there's anything you need to do for the system to run properly (such as changing the filter monthly).