December 9, 2016

Staying Warm in a Drafty Apartment

This article has been revised-please visit How to Keep Your Apartment Warm

 

24 Comments on Staying Warm in a Drafty Apartment

  1. even a sheet of clear plastic wrap can work wonders.Just tack it around the window.The problem is not the window glass,its the contact and conduction of the cold air.As the glass cools,it will transfer the cold into the inside air,creating a “mini draft”.Adding a layer of anything will block the draft.Here in AZ,a lot of people cut blocks of styrofoam to fit the windows to block the sun and keep the heat out in summertime.

    • Hey dean, Great idea! I had not heard about clear plastic wrap but thanks for telling us about it. Might try that next time-thanks!

    • Hey Donna, yw! I know I always miss the cold when the hot summer in TX starts around May. Thanks for the link!

  2. We live in an older home up here in Northern Ontario and we have to cover the windows. Most people do around here. We usually get a window insulation kit from Home Hardware that you can tape over the windows. I’ve also seen the kits at our local Walmart and Home Depot. Special double sided tape comes with the kit and after the plastic is taped to the window you can shrink the plastic with a hairdryer to fit the window tightly. We also have a large picture window in the living room that we just buy a roll of clear plastic for. We have already had temps below 0F and I don’t expect to see anything above freezing now for the next week or so. The average high for around here is in the upper 20s now and will only go lower as we head into winter. Believe me, the plastic over the windows do help the temperature inside the house. For those afraid the tape might hurt the paint around the windows, we take the plastic off the windows every Spring, and we have not had any damage to the paint around the windows.

    • Hi Fiona, Wow, it’s really cold where you are – I didn’t really covering up windows was really common. I’ve not seen those kits at the home improvement stores here, likely because it’s not as cold. Maybe now they will start carrying them. Good to know the tape won’t damage the paint. Thanks for the comment.

  3. I own an older home with single paned windows with lots of drafts. I just bought some thicker plastic to put on my windows. I wanted to use magnetic tape, but haven’t found any yet. I will get 2 sided tape to put this plastic up on the worst windows. Eventually I would like to have a piece of plastic for each window that I can put up and re-use each year.

    • Hi SunflowerSue, I haven’t used plain plastic but sounds like they would work well. Amazon has a pretty good selection of magnetic tape. Thanks for the comment.

  4. If you don’t like the heaviness of several blankets/quilts over you in bed, put a space blanket between two of them. They can also be cut down for shoe/glove liners. Save the bubblewrap for the next cold spell or for during a heat wave in summer.

    • Hi kdonat-that is a great idea using a space blanket between the blankets, that would trap heat even more. You’re right, the bubble wrap should also help for the hot summer, and those are brutal in Houston. Thanks!

  5. Seriously?

    I just came in from outside.
    Wearing a shirt and a light sweater.
    It’s 14°
    Now, mind you, there is no wind. . .
    but Hey. . .
    We don’t consider it cold in Michigan until it hits Zero.

    You wimps gotta man up.

    ************
    On the flip side. I turn on my air conditioning at 68°

    D

    • LOL – I know we’re a bunch of softies when it comes to the cold. On the other hand, heat is no big deal-we don’t turn on the A/C unless it’s temps are over 80

  6. It may not look to great, but 1&1/2″ double foil faced styrofoam insulation works
    great. It reflects the cold out and the heat back in. You can tape around the edges if you don’t or can’t cut it to fit close enough. Then use it to make an insulated layer under your mattress or line a cardboard or plywood box to make a slow cooker box with. It is a bit expensive, but worth is and multi-use.

    • Hi Pete, That is a good idea, not pretty but it will work. Will also come in handy when I assemble the homemade slow cooker. Thanks!

  7. It’s minus twenty Celsius with windchill where I am right now (Canada), and the hallway of my apartment is decidedly colder by several degrees than the suite itself – causing heat-loss under the entry door. My beach-blanket rolled up like a log and placed on the floor in front of the door makes an incredible amount of difference in keeping my place warm. Pretty cheap fix. I’ve seen some people recommend to make this a permanent solution by using old socks or whatever else to make the roll, and then attaching a strip of velcro to your “log” and also the bottom of your door, so that it will swing back and forth with your door as you open and close it… and can easily remove it when it warms up.

    • Hi Edwin, Whoa, it is cold where you are! I like that rolled up log beach blanket idea, and may do the old socks project log as well. Thanks for the comment!

  8. I live in Massachusetts in a studio apartment that has 1970s double pane windows that still radiate a lot of cold in the winter. I decided to hang quilted fabric across the windows at night and in quilted drapery hanging around a closed off area that I call the livingroom. I keep the oil heat on 60 degrees at night and use a small space heater for the livingroom area. The quilted fabric is usually $20 a yard at Joann’s Fabrics so I wait until I have a 50% coupon and then buy a 2 yard piece of fabric. The Mr Buddy Heater I got last winter made the difference when I lost power for 4 days; just had to open the door for fresh air once in awhile and make the carbon monoxide monitor had a new battery. And using flannel sheets makes a huge difference staying comfortable at night. The space blanket idea sounds good but I don’t like to listen to it crinkle when I turn over at night. Stay warm! kathy

    • Hi Kathy, I like the quilted drapery idea. I’d wait for a coupon as well before trying it out though. Thanks for sharing your experience about Mr Buddy Heater- I’d like to get one myself.

  9. We’ve done the quilted window coverings as well for a house which had terrible leaky windows. Made a huge difference. We use the plastic food wrap for small bathroom windows even today. Helps till we can afford to replace that window. We also hang a blanket on the inside of cold walls (like a tapestry in an old castle) to keep down drafts from under-insulated walls.

    If you are without power in low temps, it helps to create a “warm room” concept, both for living and then also for sleeping. You create one small insulated area that you make nice and toasty for a warm retreat. This could be setting up a tent within your living room for the kids for sleeping, then filling it with sleeping bags and down comforters and hot water bottles etc. Zip up the tent almost all the way when it’s time for sleep and you’d be surprised how much warmer you’ll sleep than if you just had sleeping bags on the living room floor. I’ve written more about the concept here:

    http://www.wellroundedmama.blogspot.com/2012/11/emergency-preparedness-staying-warm.html

    • Hi Well-Rounded Mama That is a great idea, making one small area your warm room. I bet sleeping under a tent or tarp is even fun for the kids, since this would be like making a fort or playing house. You’re not only kept warm but the kids are entertained. Thanks for the comment.

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