Leaves changing colors and falling, temperatures dropping, and snow starting to fall in the mountains. These are the signs that a Colorado winter will soon be here.
Winter is a beautiful time of year, but if you aren’t prepared for the changes to the weather, you and your Northern Colorado apartment may be cold and uncomfortable.
You may be wondering; how do I prepare my rental for winter? The process of getting an apartment ready for winter weather is different than what you may need to do in a house.
Start early to get everything situated before the weather changes. With just a little preparation, you can be comfortable all winter long.
Here are nine ways to get your apartment ready for winter:
1. Seal Your Windows
No matter how prepared you are or how much you crank your heater, your apartment will stay cold in the winter if your windows aren’t sealed.
Old windows or windows with even small gaps around the edges can leak in huge amounts of cold air. That cold air can make your furnace work harder and raise your utility costs.
As winter approaches, check your windows to make sure they are in proper working order and can be closed all the way. Check that there aren’t any drafts coming from the edges of the window.
If you do sense a draft or have a window that doesn’t fully close, let your landlord know. They should be able to add an extra layer of sealant around the window and caulk any holes.
Sealing the windows doesn’t take much time, but it can make a huge difference in the comfort and safety of your apartment in the winter.
You can also hang up heavier curtains to block the cold from coming through and leave the curtains closed at night. Even when they are properly sealed, windows can let cold air in.
Heavy curtains are an effective way to block the cold from coming into the rest of the room.
2. Check Your Doors For Drafts
The small gap between the bottom of a door and the floor can often let in a large amount of cold air. Exterior doors are notorious for letting cold air in, especially if there is a draft under the door.
If your door is letting in cold air, it might need to be tightened or re-hung for a snugger fit. You can also buy or make a draft stopper to put at the base of the door to cover the gap between the bottom of the door and the floor.
Draft stoppers, which can be as simple as a blanket on the floor in front of the door, can also prevent cold air from moving around inside the apartment.
3. Test The Heating System
As the weather starts to cool, do a trial run of your furnace. It’s better to make sure everything is working now than to realize the system is broken in the middle of a snowstorm.
To test your heating system, turn it on for a few hours and make sure the apartment or rental gets warmer. Your landlord may even cover the cost of a seasonal furnace checkup by an HVAC professional. I
f there is an issue with your heating system and the apartment either isn’t getting warmer or isn’t staying warm , talk to your landlord about getting the problem fixed.
The earlier in the season you can identify a problem and have it repaired, the better.
4. Set The Thermostat
If your apartment doesn’t have a programmable thermostat, talk to your landlord about installing one. Programmable thermostats are relatively inexpensive but make a big difference in energy efficiency and comfort.
As winter gets closer, set your programmable thermostat to a schedule of when you want the heat to turn on and off. You can adjust the settings based on personal preference, but many people set their thermostats to get warmer just before they wake up in the morning and then get slightly cooler while they are gone during the day before automatically increasing for the evening.
Setting the thermostat makes it easy to have a comfortable apartment without wasting energy by having the heat blasting all day and night if you aren’t home. You may be wondering, what temperature is too cold for a rental?
When you’re home and awake, the temperature shouldn’t be lower than 68 degrees Fahrenheit, and when you’re sleeping or not at home, you can allow the temperature to drop down to 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you won’t be home for a while or are going out of town, don’t turn your heater off completely. Keep it going at a lower temperature so your pipes don’t freeze.
5. Bring Out The Blankets
One of the best ways to stay comfortable in the winter is knowing how to keep your rental warm. When the weather is cold, embrace the temperatures and make your apartment as cozy as possible.
Switching out your bedding for warmer sheets and blankets is more than just comfortable—it can actually help you save on energy costs. With a warm blanket on your couch or bed, you can set your thermostat slightly lower and still stay warm.
Even a small change in your thermostat settings can lead to big savings on your utility bills and for the environment.
When the weather is especially cold, you can even consider an electric blanket.
6. Clean Your Outdoor Space
If your apartment has a courtyard, backyard, or balcony, be sure to clean the outdoor space before the weather gets cold and the snow comes. Wipe down your patio furniture and grill and either cover it or bring it inside.
Rake any leaves that may have fallen so they don’t get covered with snow and stay wet all winter.
Your landlord may take care of some of the outdoor preparation, but you are in charge of your personal belongings. Leaving furniture and other items outside in the winter can lead to damage and shorten their lifespan.
7. Check On Snow Removal Procedures
At many apartment complexes, the HOA or management takes care of snow removal by shoveling common walkways and parking lots.
Before the weather changes, check to see what is covered in your rent and what you personally need to take care of. Some landlords may shovel all the way up to your front door, while others require residents to shovel their own porches.
At the very least, you’ll want to have a snow brush and ice scraper in your car and a small shovel in your apartment to take care of any emergencies or heavy snowstorms.
8. Invest In A Humidifier
Winter weather also means dry air, which can cause your skin to feel rough and flaky and your sinuses to get congested.
Dry air can also lead to itchy eyes and make your body more susceptible to colds and sicknesses. Take some of the edge off the dryness by investing in a humidifier to add moisture to the air.
As a bonus, some humidifiers produce steam rather than mist, which means you can lower your thermostat and still feel warm.
A humidifier releases small amounts of mist, which increase the humidity level of the air. A small, portable humidifier can be moved throughout your apartment and set to match your preferences.
Some people prefer to only have the humidifier creating mist in their bedroom at night, while other people keep it going in their living area for most of the day.
When you run a humidifier in the winter, you should be able to feel the results fairly quickly.
Adding moisture to the air also helps reduce the risk of your furniture and wood floors getting damaged from drying out.
9. Prepare an Emergency Kit
No matter where you live, it’s important to have an emergency kit for winter.
Snowstorms and other winter weather increase the chances of power outages or getting snowed in.
Prepare before the season so that you have what you need in a worst-case scenario.
An emergency kit doesn’t need to be fancy or take up too much space. Start by putting together the basics, such as:
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Bottled water
- Portable charger for a cell phone
- Portable radio
- Non-perishable food and snacks
- Manual can opener
Gather your supplies in a hall closet, under your bed, or under the bathroom sink—wherever you have space and can grab it if there is an emergency. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
With these nine tips to get your apartment ready for winter weather, you can have a safe and comfortable apartment, no matter what the weather is like outside.
To avoid feeling rushed or getting caught in cold weather, start your preparations early. With a little planning, you can enjoy winter from the comfort of your apartment.