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16 Ways to Keep Warm in a Madison Apartment

Okay, folks, we’re into the frozen days of Wisconsin winters. January and February are usually our most frigid months, and they may require some changes of habits and a few extra layers to keep warm. Here are 16 tips for keeping your Madison apartment cozy.

Wait, what if your rent is included? If you don’t pay utilities, doesn’t it make sense to just crank up the heat and let your property owner pay for it?

Besides not being environmentally friendly, we’ve touched on why this strategy could come back to haunt you in a previous post. Take a look, and then come back and review some of these tips on how to keep your apartment warm:

1. Dress inside for winter. Opt for a sweater, or even two. Your head is a huge source of heat loss, so throw a winter cap on the ole’ noggin. And keep those feet inside a pair of wool socks.

2. Put heavy drapes over windows. When the wind really starts howling, it loves to seep in through windows and the surrounding trim work. Find some heavy drapes to cover your window and frame. For those on a tight budget, hang a heavy duty blanket over the window at night-time.

3. Hang a vinyl shower curtain behind the drapes. Add another layer of insulation between you and the outdoors – and a low price.

4. Drink hot liquids. Nothing warms you up like a hot coffee or cup of tea. Be sure it’s decaffeinated, however, as we tend to skimp on enough liquids over the winter. Caffeine is a diuretic that will only make you feel dehydrated.

5. Close off rooms – strategically. If you have a number of heating vents in your main living space, then close off the bedrooms and let the heat build-up in those areas where you’re most active. Since you’re only sleeping in the bedrooms, you can offset the cold with a heavier blanket.

6. Keep your cabinet and closet doors closed. In some older homes, the closets walls aren’t insulated. Close those doors to add another level of insulation.

7. Go with flannel sheets. It’s amazing what a difference a set of flannel sheets can make. Worth every penny.

8. Run your appliances when you’re home. If you have a dishwasher in the apartment or a washer/dryer, run it when you’re home. These appliances kick off a lot of heat; share the warmth!

9. Go with multi-layered blankets. If you’re going to go with the fleece sheets, don’t stop there. Add a few extra blankets to your bed, or use them out on the couch.

10. Use the frugal heating pad. You can actually put rice in a cloth bag, microwave it, and use it as a heating pad.Here are the details.

11. Derail those drafts. Do you feel cold air coming in under your front door? Roll up a blanket and place it in front of the crack at the bottom of the door. Here’s a site with a DIY door stopper.

12. Find a humidifier. Besides being good for your health, a room with more humidity just feels warmer.

13. Sun by day, plastic weatherproofing by night. Open those blinds and take advantage of sunlight (when we get it) as much as you can. You may want to consider using a plastic weatherproofing kit for your window. Check with your property owner to see if they’re open to the idea, and if they have a suggestion for the best brand/solution.

14. Roll out the rugs. If you live in an apartment with hardwood floors or tiles, rugs will offset the radiant cold and warm your feet.

15. Snuggle up with a loved one. Fun and generally free of charge.

16. Don’t block those heating vents. Look around the apartment and find your heating vents, cold air returns, baseboard heaters, or radiators. Are they free from obstruction? Can air flow from them without being blocked by a chair or drapes? Move furniture if you have to, at least until summer rolls around.

These sixteen tips may be just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. Of course, there is always the power of positive thinking. As in, we’re positive that summer is just five months away. Hang in there!


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