Energy-Saving Tips to Help Winterize Your Apartment
After the brutal winter of 2014, many New Yorkers would welcome energy-saving tips that can help keep their homes cozy and warm for the coming cold season. Use these ideas to help keep keep the Polar Vortex out (and the savings in) this winter.
New Yorkers, take heed: It’s that time of year — time to think of energy-saving tips that can help you keep warm and save money this cold season. After the incredible cold and snowy winter onslaught that was Winter 2013–14, many of us said, “That’s it! We’re OUT OF HERE! Bora Bora, here we come!”
And yet we’re still here — because, seriously, we love NYC too much. Yes, New York winters can be brutal but that doesn’t mean that you have to suffer through them. There are things that you can do to get through winter cloaked in as much comfort as possible.
1. Insulate Your Outlets
You may walk back and forth a zillion times in your living room trying to find the source of an errant draft before realizing that the culprit could be your electrical outlet. It’s true: Cold drafts can make it into your apartment through the outlets in your walls, especially if the outlets are located on walls that face the outdoors or cold communal hallways. By properly insulating your outlets, you can help keep the Polar Vortex on the outside of your apartment where it belongs. Follow these energy-saving tips:
- Turn off the current to the outlet via your circuit breaker.
- Remove outlet covers by removing their screws with a screwdriver.
- Use a foam sealant to seal off any holes that may have been cut into the drywall to make way for the outlet.
- Allow the sealant to completely dry before scraping off any excess.
- Fit a foam gasket over the outlet so that you can make a truly airtight seal. Foam gaskets can be found in most hardware stores (like Home Depot), and they’re made to fit right over outlets.
- Screw the outlet cover back onto the wall.
Image Source: Flickr/Joe Shlabotnik
2. Run a Vaporizer or Humidifier
Keeping a vaporizer or humidifier going is not just a great way to help moisturize the air for people with sinus issues — it’s also an excellent way to cut down on your heating bills this winter. When you use a humidifier in addition to your regular heating source to warm up your space, the air can retain warmth more easily. You know how warm and cozy you feel when you take a lovely steam bath? You’ll get a similar effect when using your vaporizer/humidifier.
Image Source: Flickr/Emma Jane Hogbin Westby
3. Cover Up Your Exterior Walls
If you’ve got an exterior-facing wall in a room, you may notice that if you touch that wall during a particularly frigid cold spell, the wall feels ice-cold, even though you’re indoors. Remedy this by covering those exterior walls with blankets or tapestries. These will act as a form of insulation and keep the heat inside where it belongs. If you shudder at the idea of placing tacky blankets on your wall, keep in mind that they don’t have to be tacky: You can buy gorgeous yet affordable wall coverings that fill your rooms with warmth and beauty.
Main Image Source: Flickr/Cyril Z.