Author Topic: Most efficient way to survive drafty apartment  (Read 5772 times)

mlipps

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Most efficient way to survive drafty apartment
« on: January 04, 2018, 12:34:07 PM »
Hi friends! Long time no chat. With this unending cold snap, I'm in need of some mustachian advice.

I currently rent a studio apartment in Chicago with a gas furnace and hot water tank which I pay for. I'm also lucky to have a Nest thermostat in said apartment. My lease started 11/1/17 and runs for 18 months, so I have at least one more winter to survive in this place.

On the really cold days lately (sub zero) my furnace is running constantly and struggling to maintain reasonable temps. If it's below 0, running 100% of the time gets my apartment up to about 62-64. This is just on the edge of bearable for me when bundled up in long underwear, wool socks, sweat pants, etc. My very thoughtful boyfriend got me an electric blanket for Christmas, which definitely helps, but also got me thinking about the most efficient way to tough out these cold days.

Since it's a studio, I can't close off any rooms. I could plastic wrap the windows, but my suspicion based on the temperature of my walls is that it's actually poor insulation that's the bigger culprit (I have 3 external walls). A space heater seems really silly since it's just going to put out more heat that's going to be lost. Obviously the best solution is to get off the couch & stay warm doing things, which I've been doing as much as possible, but I've meal prepped and cleaned just about everything humanly possible at this point. Am I missing any other cheap options here?? Am I going to hate myself for using the electric blanket when I get my electric bill?? Help!

mlipps

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Most efficient way to survive drafty apartment
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2018, 12:36:58 PM »
Hi friends! Long time no chat. With this unending cold snap, I'm in need of some mustachian advice.

I currently rent a studio apartment in Chicago with a gas furnace and hot water tank which I pay for. I'm also lucky to have a Nest thermostat in said apartment. My lease started 11/1/17 and runs for 18 months, so I have at least one more winter to survive in this place.

On the really cold days lately (sub zero) my furnace is running constantly and struggling to maintain reasonable temps. If it's below 0, running 100% of the time gets my apartment up to about 62-64. This is just on the edge of bearable for me when bundled up in long underwear, wool socks, sweat pants, etc. My very thoughtful boyfriend got me an electric blanket for Christmas, which definitely helps, but also got me thinking about the most efficient way to tough out these cold days.

Since it's a studio, I can't close off any rooms. I could plastic wrap the windows, but my suspicion based on the temperature of my walls is that it's actually poor insulation that's the bigger culprit (I have 3 external walls). A space heater seems really silly since it's just going to put out more heat that's going to be lost. Obviously the best solution is to get off the couch & stay warm doing things, which I've been doing as much as possible, but I've meal prepped and cleaned just about everything humanly possible at this point. Am I missing any other cheap options here?? Am I going to hate myself for using the electric blanket when I get my electric bill?? Help!

PoutineLover

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Re: Most efficient way to survive drafty apartment
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2018, 12:43:51 PM »
You could use hot water bottles instead of (or in addition to) the electric blanket. I always wear warm slippers in the house, and have lots of blankets on my bed and couch. The plastic wrap might help a bit, I use it most years and I think it does help especially if the windows are bad. Have your boyfriend sleep over more often, boys are like free space heaters ;)

SimpleCycle

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Re: Most efficient way to survive drafty apartment
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2018, 12:46:37 PM »
We lived in one of those.  We kept the heat around 62 by choice (to save money on heat) and that kept the furnace from running all the time, but our heating bills were still pretty ridiculous (although it was a large 2br).  We did have luck with using one of those plastic window kits, although the tape took off some of the ancient windowsill paint when we removed it in the spring.  We also made sure our air filter was changed often and that the furnace was serviced every year, although I don't know how much either of those things helped.  We weatherstripped the doors too.

My best advice is to bundle up as much as possible, and know that you'll adjust to the colder temperatures.  I used to wear fingerless gloves and bundle up under blankets or in my sleeping bag if I was going to be sedentary.  If I got really cold, I would warm up with a hot water bottle.  That's probably more efficient than an electric blanket, but I have no idea what the impact of an electric blanket will be on your electric bill.

trollwithamustache

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Re: Most efficient way to survive drafty apartment
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2018, 12:52:59 PM »
what is the state of the weatherstrippinng around your doors and windows?

Wouldn't shock me if the landlord doesn't maintain this. there are foam roll out weather strippings with a sticky back that make it super easy to do windows and the sides of the doorframe. 

Optimiser

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Re: Most efficient way to survive drafty apartment
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2018, 12:54:36 PM »
Am I going to hate myself for using the electric blanket when I get my electric bill?? Help!

No. Electric blankets don't use very much electricity.

http://electricblanketinstitute.com/features-benefits/actual-cost-to-run.html

Zamboni

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Re: Most efficient way to survive drafty apartment
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2018, 12:55:00 PM »
Am I going to hate myself for using the electric blanket when I get my electric bill?? Help!

No, it shouldn't use that much power. I've found that the best way to make an electric blanket efficient is to sandwich it between a top sheet and a comforter, which holds in the heat from it. Keeping the edge of the top sheet up above it keeps me from having to wash it (which will kill it in my experience.) Also, keep it flat . . . scrunching it up will short its life. We have found that even a twin size electric blanket in the middle of our king-sized bed warms up the whole situation very effectively. The larger sizes are extremely expensive.

For maximum warmness, the best thing you can do is wear a warm hat. Get a stylish knit hat on Etsy and you'll look hip and stay comfortable. Good luck!

marielle

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Re: Most efficient way to survive drafty apartment
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2018, 12:58:29 PM »
I'm pretty comfortable at 55 or lower with an electric blanket. The heat has been broken at work all winter and it's hard to get it above 60 with propane heaters. Try sitting on half of it and wrapping the other half over your lap. You need to trap the heat underneath you. Same with sleeping, don't put it on top of you, rather put it underneath (even under your sheets if you can) and sleep with it. I can sleep in very cold temperatures like that. Or maybe your blanket isn't warm enough?

mm1970

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Re: Most efficient way to survive drafty apartment
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2018, 01:10:30 PM »
https://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/home/8-ways-to-winterize-a-drafty-old-house-or-apartment/slide/8

One of the things I saw on here, in addition to winterizing doors and windows, is to hang quilts on the walls.

BlueHouse

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Re: Most efficient way to survive drafty apartment
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2018, 01:28:44 PM »
https://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/home/8-ways-to-winterize-a-drafty-old-house-or-apartment/slide/8

One of the things I saw on here, in addition to winterizing doors and windows, is to hang quilts on the walls.

This is great advice.  I agree wholeheartedly with putting up quilts on the walls.  You can get fancy and use curtains, or you can get some old used quilts and comforters and hang them on the exterior walls.  Also, make sure to hang curtains in front of doors and windows.  The doors one is a no-brainer, and I don't understand why more people don't do it. 

Do not sit or sleep on any air mattress -- the air doesn't hold warmth. 

Moist heat (hot water bottle) seems to work better for me than dry heat (electric blanket).  When I get cold, I am not shy about wearing fingerless gloves and hats inside.


terran

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Re: Most efficient way to survive drafty apartment
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2018, 02:02:58 PM »
A note for future apartment hunting: utilities will often give you an estimate of the average monthly utility bills for an address.

Lady SA

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Re: Most efficient way to survive drafty apartment
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2018, 02:09:25 PM »
You would be surprised how much heat is lost through windows even if they seem fine and the bigger culprit is the insulation. I would definitely consider putting up those plastic sheets over the windows, they have made a HUGE difference in our apartment. I also second the blankets/quilts on the walls, and I also hang quilts over the window in our bedroom. Since its a rental I couldn't put up curtain rods, so I actually pinned it to the top of the window trim with thumb tacks, close the the wall. When we eventually leave the apartment, there will be no visible damage! #protip

I also got a twin duvet/comforter for use in the living room when I'm on the couch. It warms me up almost instantly so I can comfortably watch TV or read a book while snuggled in it. A throw blanket just doesn't do the trick.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2018, 02:13:16 PM by Lady SA »

honeybbq

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Re: Most efficient way to survive drafty apartment
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2018, 02:25:24 PM »
I used to bake a lot of bread and use the oven a lot in my old apartment ages ago. It helped in the moment and warm food in the belly was good, too.

BigHaus89

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Re: Most efficient way to survive drafty apartment
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2018, 02:43:50 PM »
Good advice here. Also, drinking warm beverages i.e. tea can help warm the core of the body quite a bit.

lizzzi

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Re: Most efficient way to survive drafty apartment
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2018, 03:14:52 PM »
Other than the electric blanket, you're going to want a down comforter for your couch and bed, and any blankets or throws should be wool. Flannel bedding, of course. (L.L. Bean.) (Take a look at Pendleton, Faribault Woolen Mills, Woolrich for blankets and throws..my Faribault throw was not cheap, but worth every penny for warmth. Also Made in USA, if you care about that.) Hudson Bay blankets are very warm, but also very expensive. People say they're worth it...I can't afford one, so I can't say. Wear a lightweight wool beanie in the house.

netskyblue

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Re: Most efficient way to survive drafty apartment
« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2018, 03:58:08 PM »
https://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/home/8-ways-to-winterize-a-drafty-old-house-or-apartment/slide/8

One of the things I saw on here, in addition to winterizing doors and windows, is to hang quilts on the walls.

This is great advice.  I agree wholeheartedly with putting up quilts on the walls.  You can get fancy and use curtains, or you can get some old used quilts and comforters and hang them on the exterior walls.  Also, make sure to hang curtains in front of doors and windows.  The doors one is a no-brainer, and I don't understand why more people don't do it. 

I would think this would be a fire hazard, wouldn't it?  I remember being in elementary school and having blankets hung from the walls for sound absorption and the fire marshall shut that down in an inspection.

seattlecyclone

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Re: Most efficient way to survive drafty apartment
« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2018, 04:00:50 PM »
Plastic over the windows makes a real difference, especially if you can feel air coming in through them otherwise. Windows leak a lot more heat than even the most lightly insulated wall. Start there.

mustachemountain

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Re: Most efficient way to survive drafty apartment
« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2018, 04:02:07 PM »
air sealing
all those little holes and cracks add up.
$10 gets you a crappy call gun and a tube of caulk, maybe 2. around the window and door frames, where the baseboards meet the floor, where the pipes under the sink and in the bathroom go thru the wall, where the cable or phone lines come thru the wall.... closets are often bad- especially look at the inside of the door frame.
spend a little more and get a sweep for the bottom of the door. make sure the windows are tight, there are various little foam bits that can be applied to tighten then in various ways.
single pane windows should definitely be sealed with sheet plastic over them, and probably double pane, especially if they are not tight. thermal, tightly fitting curtains should always be drawn after dark- your windows are literally heat holes if there is no sun shining thru them.
I've also heard of people hanging rugs on exterior walls but I'm dubious-moisture can condense on the cold wall and you get mold. I'd rather get cold than mold
good luck

SunshineAZ

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Re: Most efficient way to survive drafty apartment
« Reply #18 on: January 04, 2018, 04:08:50 PM »
I've recently been seeing info about using bubble wrap to insulate your windows.  I like the idea because it is cheap and, since you just mist the windows with water to get it to stick, you won't damage the paint. 

https://dengarden.com/home-improvement/How-to-Bubble-Wrap-Windows

I hope you are able to find a way to keep your place warmer.  I hate being cold, so I can sympathize. 

robartsd

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Re: Most efficient way to survive drafty apartment
« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2018, 04:18:01 PM »
I would think this would be a fire hazard, wouldn't it?  I remember being in elementary school and having blankets hung from the walls for sound absorption and the fire marshall shut that down in an inspection.
Yes, hanging fabrics can lead to fire rapidly spreading. Be sure to keep all heat sources well away from any quilts or blankets you hang. Also hanging blankets over an escape path could make emergency evacuation more difficult. Unlike an elementary school, your apartment is not a public space, so the choice to hang blankets is up to you. Just be sure you're comfortable with your own plan to mitigate these risks.

Depending on how well the blankets help keep the heat in the room, there is also the possibility that condensation can form on your cold walls, so that is something else to watch out for.

Sun Hat

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Re: Most efficient way to survive drafty apartment
« Reply #20 on: January 04, 2018, 05:06:31 PM »
I second the air-sealing suggested by mustachemountain. I also suggest plastic over the windows. Sure, poor insulation is a problem, but you'd be surprised how much of a difference draft-reduction can make. For instance, I'm in Winnipeg - notorious for cold - and yet, my 1921 house was built with NO wall insulation. So, for the past 97 years, people have been ok with that (not me, I'm having some insulation piped into the void in the next month or two). I did a round of air sealing in December and was very impressed with how much more tolerable the house was during a cold snap. I did some more air sealing at my mom's the other day (all stuff that mustachemountain mentioned, plus plastic over the older windows) and already mom's husband indicates that it's not as bad (he's a super-complainypants, so that's high praise).


Abe

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Re: Most efficient way to survive drafty apartment
« Reply #21 on: January 04, 2018, 10:07:32 PM »
Consider getting a canopy frame for the bed and placing thick curtains on it (and something over the top). They were originally invented to keep people warm with their body heat during cold winters. I agree with the caulking windows and door frames.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Most efficient way to survive drafty apartment
« Reply #22 on: January 04, 2018, 10:52:52 PM »
How warm is your BF's place? If it's warmer go there for the coldest days.

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Most efficient way to survive drafty apartment
« Reply #23 on: January 05, 2018, 02:15:32 AM »
I have a small electric vest (like an electric blanket), it is marketed for back pain, but works for general cold too. Great to keep warm for still tasks, not so good for moving about. It was around 15 so $20.

fluffmuffin

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Re: Most efficient way to survive drafty apartment
« Reply #24 on: January 05, 2018, 05:14:52 AM »
Another +1 to moustachemountain. Start with the drafts and windows. If your windows are cold spots at all, the insulation stripping stuff can be a game-changer. Thick curtains are also helpful. I know you said the walls were worse than the windows, but you're probably still losing heat through the windows, and those are a lot easier to tackle than uninsulated walls. It might make enough of a difference to get you closer to your temperature comfort zone.

Good luck!

lizzzi

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Re: Most efficient way to survive drafty apartment
« Reply #25 on: January 05, 2018, 09:13:24 AM »
If you have wall air conditioners, get covers for them. I have been noticing in the recent extreme cold with wind (upstate NY) that if I stand in front of my air conditioner, it's like being outside in the arctic wind. I've ordered covers from Amazon.

StarBright

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Re: Most efficient way to survive drafty apartment
« Reply #26 on: January 05, 2018, 09:33:55 AM »
Consider getting a canopy frame for the bed and placing thick curtains on it (and something over the top). They were originally invented to keep people warm with their body heat during cold winters. I agree with the caulking windows and door frames.

We have an 1850s house and this is actually in our long term plan for our bedroom! Not this winter, because we are working on some other house stuff, but probably next winter.

I am also a hat in the house person. I've got a beanie on and am wearing fingerless gloves right now.

I also made some microwavable rice socks for my family at the beginning of the cold snap. https://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Rice-Sock   I heat them and put them under the covers to warm everyone's beds about 30 minutes before bedtime.


AmandaPanda

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Re: Most efficient way to survive drafty apartment
« Reply #27 on: January 05, 2018, 12:49:31 PM »
We have a similar problem in our house. The temp barely breaks 60 and runs all the time on our main floor (super old house).  We have a 5 year old unit, and all the ductwork was repaired/replaced when we moved in.  We also have all high efficiency windows on the main floor, installed all in the last 5 years.  We have half crawl-space, half basement, and the side of the house with the crawl space is significantly colder.  Do we need insulation anywhere else, or what could our main problem be?

Optimiser

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Re: Most efficient way to survive drafty apartment
« Reply #28 on: January 05, 2018, 12:56:19 PM »
We have a similar problem in our house. The temp barely breaks 60 and runs all the time on our main floor (super old house).  We have a 5 year old unit, and all the ductwork was repaired/replaced when we moved in.  We also have all high efficiency windows on the main floor, installed all in the last 5 years.  We have half crawl-space, half basement, and the side of the house with the crawl space is significantly colder.  Do we need insulation anywhere else, or what could our main problem be?

Start here:
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/11/18/first-understand-then-destroy-your-home-heating-bill/

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2014/05/01/beating-the-stock-market-with-diy-insulation/

AmandaPanda

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Re: Most efficient way to survive drafty apartment
« Reply #29 on: January 05, 2018, 01:19:46 PM »
Thanks!

Mtngrl

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Re: Most efficient way to survive drafty apartment
« Reply #30 on: January 05, 2018, 04:54:32 PM »
https://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/home/8-ways-to-winterize-a-drafty-old-house-or-apartment/slide/8

One of the things I saw on here, in addition to winterizing doors and windows, is to hang quilts on the walls.

I was going to suggest quilts/ blankets tacked to the walls. If you want to get really fancy, you could cover the walls with rolls of quilt batting and tack a fancy sheet over that.
We spent part of one very cold winter in a travel trailer every weekend while our house was being built. I covered the bedroom walls with quilts and it made a big difference in comfort level.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Most efficient way to survive drafty apartment
« Reply #31 on: January 05, 2018, 05:00:27 PM »
Another approach if it's that cold is to notify your landlord that the place is not insulated enough to be habitable in winter. See if they are willing to blow some insulation into the walls. If not you may have grounds to break the lease so at least you don't have to suffer through a second winter.

Abe

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Re: Most efficient way to survive drafty apartment
« Reply #32 on: January 05, 2018, 05:31:07 PM »
Another approach if it's that cold is to notify your landlord that the place is not insulated enough to be habitable in winter. See if they are willing to blow some insulation into the walls. If not you may have grounds to break the lease so at least you don't have to suffer through a second winter.

That's a good point. Chicago actually has specific regulations on how warm the apartment must be kept with reasonable heating methods if the landlord supplies the heat.

"From September 15 through June 1, the temperature inside a rental residence is required to be at least 68 degrees from 8:30 AM to 10:30 PM, and at least 66 degrees from 10:30 PM to 8:30 AM."

It is not clear if that applies to units where the heat is individually controlled, but call 311 and ask.

https://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/bldgs/supp_info/chicago-heat-ordinance.html


Optimiser

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Re: Most efficient way to survive drafty apartment
« Reply #33 on: January 05, 2018, 05:41:28 PM »
Another approach if it's that cold is to notify your landlord that the place is not insulated enough to be habitable in winter. See if they are willing to blow some insulation into the walls. If not you may have grounds to break the lease so at least you don't have to suffer through a second winter.

That's a good point. Chicago actually has specific regulations on how warm the apartment must be kept with reasonable heating methods if the landlord supplies the heat.

"From September 15 through June 1, the temperature inside a rental residence is required to be at least 68 degrees from 8:30 AM to 10:30 PM, and at least 66 degrees from 10:30 PM to 8:30 AM."

It is not clear if that applies to units where the heat is individually controlled, but call 311 and ask.

https://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/bldgs/supp_info/chicago-heat-ordinance.html

Quote from: Chicago Tenant Rights
To live in a safe environment with essential services.
If the landlord violates the rental agreement or the municipal code and such violation causes an immediate danger to the health or safety of the tenant or if the landlord fails to supply heat, electricity, hot water, running water, gas or plumbing, the tenant may:

Obtain heat, running water, hot water, electricity, gas or plumbing and deduct the cost proven by receipts from the rent; or
Sue the landlord for damages based on the reduced value of the apartment; or
Obtain alternative housing, not pay rent, and recover the value of the substitute housing so long as it is reasonable and does not exceed the monthly rent.
Source: https://bc-firm.com/tenants-rights-chicago/#4

If you can't get your apartment over 64 degrees I'd say your landlord is failing to supply heat.

Abe

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Re: Most efficient way to survive drafty apartment
« Reply #34 on: January 05, 2018, 09:37:11 PM »
That's true, the OP may have a case under the basic maintenance part of the agreement rather than the specific heating agreement.

whitethunder

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Re: Most efficient way to survive drafty apartment
« Reply #35 on: January 06, 2018, 07:31:49 AM »
I live in Canada and there is an extreme cold warning (-20 Celsius) in my area this weekend. I have yet to turn on my heating this Winter. Here are some things I do...

I keep blinds open during the day to let sun in, and then put drapes over top at night to trap heat. I also weight-train in my living room every two days and sweat enough to heat the room in a noticeable way. My body temperature is also generally higher during periods of frequent training. My water (including hot water) is paid for by my landlord, so I will leave the shower running twice per day to build up steam and release it to the rest of the apartment. I wear double socks and sweaters indoors, spend minimal time at home, and have a small bedroom so it stays warm at night. My FAVOURITE trick that I've learned to keep warm is this: fill up a bucket with hot water from the bath/shower, bundle up with a cozy blanket, and put your feet in the bucket. I practice the piano like this, and have considered reading a book or calling a friend while I relax before bed in this way. I find I lose most heat from my feet, so if I keep them warm the rest of my body is ok.

It is cold in my apartment, and there are days when I just want the comfort of heating. What I do is unsustainable, and while I do enjoy learning to live like a spartan monk I also don't want to do it forever! Before this year I had never prioritized wealth before in my life, and I'm looking to cover lost ground by imposing harsh conditions on myself and reading as much as I can. Take what you need, I recognize that my methods may seem extreme. I hope this can help you!

Sun Hat

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Re: Most efficient way to survive drafty apartment
« Reply #36 on: January 06, 2018, 05:30:01 PM »
Wow, whitethunder, I tip my hat at your badassity!

MrsPete

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Re: Most efficient way to survive drafty apartment
« Reply #37 on: January 06, 2018, 05:56:26 PM »
Instead of plastic on the windows, use bubble wrap.  Yes to heavy-weight curtains; they'll block quite a bit of cold.  I like the idea of quilts on the wall, but it might be easier to put up curtain rods /heavy-weight curtains over those exterior walls. 

Make "draft dodgers" for your windows:  Go to the thrift store (or use your own old blankets and towels).  These don't have to be fancy; just a couple layers of fabric doubled over will keep out a draft. 

This might be a good time to put in some overtime at work or go to the bookstore or the library /soak in some heat while reading on their sofas. 

Layered clothing.  Layered blankets. 

Wear a knit hat even to bed. 

Put a space heater in your bathroom (where you'll be naked and presumably most cold) ... put it on a timer so it can turn on 30 minutes before you get up. 

Finally, I agree that if you literally CANNOT get the heat up past the low 60s, your landlord needs to increase the quality of the furnace. 

Okay, one more, though it comes with its own set of issues:  Get a dog (or foster a dog during the winter).  I say this because my little fellow is sleeping against me right now (and pretty much always), and he is a 27-lb furnace. 
« Last Edit: January 06, 2018, 08:24:15 PM by MrsPete »

Sun Hat

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Re: Most efficient way to survive drafty apartment
« Reply #38 on: January 07, 2018, 09:50:11 AM »
I think that bubble wrap and plastic on windows provide different things and are not mutually exclusive. Bubble wrap goes directly on the glass as an insulator, whereas plastic goes over the whole window (glass, frame and ideally is fixed to the drywall) to reduce drafts from air seeping in between all of the components. By creating an air gap between the room and cold window pane, the plastic will provide a bit of an insulating factor, but you could always double down and do both bubble wrap on the pane and plastic wrap over the whole shebang.

whitethunder

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Re: Most efficient way to survive drafty apartment
« Reply #39 on: January 07, 2018, 01:15:35 PM »
Thanks Sun Hat! I am proud that my efforts will yield tangible results, and I also question my motivation to save so aggressively. Am I so greedy for money that I deprive myself of heat? It certainly didn't feel that way, as I learned some valuable lessons and used my brain to solve a problem. I could definitely see how unsustainable that is however and also how my actions might be perceived by others. What people think of you matters because without their trust you are isolated! And that is antithetical to a good life, which is what MMM seems to be encouraging among readers. I wouldn't call what I do "Badassity", but rather a step on my journey to a deeper understanding of wealth. I believe it's an important distinction, because I could easily fall prey to the temptations of greed or pride which would lead to a miserly life. We will see if I turn the heating on next year :)

Sun Hat

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Re: Most efficient way to survive drafty apartment
« Reply #40 on: January 07, 2018, 02:01:38 PM »
Whitethunder, I think that it's healthy to deny ourselves of comfort from time to time so that we avoid taking it for granted.
Since you seem capable of depriving yourself fairly significantly, you may want to consider identifying a threshold that you don't want to cross in your pursuit of thrift and self-discovery. I'd suggest a utilitarian approach of abstaining from anything that could jeopardize your health (or that of others) or damage property that isn't yours to damage. For instance, if you have the means to eat a well-balanced diet, I think that you should do so, even if a rice-only diet would be cheaper, since poor nutrition is bad for your health.

In the  OP's situation, the landlord is required to provide the means to heat it to a livable level, but you present the inverse responsibility on the part of the tenant to use the provided heating system to maintain the livability of the unit. 

Your resistance to using heat may result in condensation issues in your apartment and cause mold, which would be bad for your health and would likely make you liable for the damage to your landlord's investment. If it's very cold, the water pipes could freeze and burst, causing tens of thousands of dollars damage to the building. So to me, the risk of pneumonia and having to pay for mold mitigation or water damage would convince me that on the balance that it's worth it to heat the place a bit. You can still be stoic if you wear an inside hat at 55F or 10C.

However, my initial tip of the hat is that most people are so comfort-seeking that they don't have to look at the utility of comfort to get themselves to indulge. 

windypig

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Re: Most efficient way to survive drafty apartment
« Reply #41 on: January 07, 2018, 03:08:42 PM »
A laser thermometer ($20 on amazon) is very revealing for locating cold spots. Walls in general, electrical outlets, doors, window frames, etc. Once you identify your leaks you can act on them. Also useful for cooking when not fixing drafts.

whitethunder

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Re: Most efficient way to survive drafty apartment
« Reply #42 on: January 07, 2018, 03:37:30 PM »
Sunhat, thanks for the reply. You are very right about the risks of an unheated apartment... I hadn't considered mold although without getting into details I could be sure that my pipes wouldn't burst. Our cold snap is ending tonight, so I have been lucky that there were no issues that arose; it was a risk and it worked out, but it would be good to identify thrift-related boundaries for myself. The Navy Seal slogan, "the only easy day was yesterday," or the ever-true, "no pain, no gain," come to mind when I think about the idea of comfort-seeking. Replies like yours are part of the reason I joined this forum. Thank you!