There’s no argument that winter in northern Ohio can be brutal. Thanks to Lake Erie the Cleveland area tends to get a lot of snow (an average of 60+ inches per year!), which combined with the frigid windchill can drive up heating costs and increase your carbon footprint during the winter months. Thankfully the snow also brings with it beautiful landscapes, the perfect cuddle weather, and the smell of warm spices everywhere you go. Likewise, it doesn’t have to be all bad when it comes to heating as a renter. With just a few simple steps you can winterize your apartment and help save both the environment and your wallet.
The first step in winterizing your apartment is to go around and evaluate potential issues. Check your outside doors and windows for drafts, make note of where vents are located and if they’re dusty, and check your heating system. Make notes of any areas that could be improved and decide the best way to resolve any potential issues. What should you take care of yourself, and what should you notify property management to handle? For example, drafty windows should probably be taken care of by management. They can come out and see if a simple calking will get rid of the drafts or if you may need new windows entirely. For vents, you can probably clean them yourself. Just take a vacuum attachment or duster to get rid of any dust accumulation, cobwebs, or any other items that may have gotten in there.
Once you’ve evaluated what needs to happen, do it. Call property management to schedule a service associate for the items you can’t (or shouldn’t) do yourself, and start tackling the list of things for you to take care of.
Some recommended action items are:
· Clean any and all vents to promote airflow.
· Program your thermostat to turn off, or at least way down, throughout the day while you’re at work.
· Move any furniture that’s blocking vents.
· Install heavy curtains to close at night (leave them open during the day so the sun can heat the room naturally!).
· Purchase draft blockers for outside doors (or roll up towels and place them at the bottom of the door).
· Switch any ceiling fans to run in reverse and push the warm air back down.
· Keep any large closet doors closed, or anywhere else that leads to a room that isn’t heated.
· Add rugs and wall hangings to put a barrier between you and cold floors and walls.
· Run a humidifier to combat dry air and make the air feel warmer without turning up the heat.
This is not an exhaustive list by any means, but it’s definitely a good start!
Even if you only take a handful of these tips you’ll be able to see improvements. Your heater will run less, which means fewer carbon emissions and less heating cost! While you can’t control how much snow the Cleveland area gets or exactly how freezing the windchill feels, you can do our part to help the environment and keep your monthly utility bills down while you’re at it.
There are still a few months left of cold, but make sure to check out our previous blog to keep up with the eco-friendly trend, especially once it starts to get warmer next year.