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Winter is coming. When that time of year hits when 30 degrees Fahrenheit is considered a welcome respite from the polar vortex, it's tempting to crank up your heater and wait for spring to come. While this may be a simple fix, blasting your heater is not the only or best way to heat your home. A few inexpensive hacks can help you stay toasty throughout the winter months and reduce your energy consumption. Also, many hacks designed to make your home more energy-efficient during the winter months will help reduce your energy consumption during air-conditioner season. Best yet, most of these hacks can be easily implemented without hiring a repair person. This article focuses on the four areas of the home where energy loss most often occurs: windows, doors, floors, and ceilings.
Windows
The first step to making any apartment more energy efficient is to reduce or eliminate drafts. Not surprisingly, windows are the source of most drafts and as a result, they are a top priority.

If you own your unit and your windows are old, you may want to replace them with a new and energy-efficient alternative. In a cold climate like New York City, double- or triple-paned windows are recommended. If you don’t want to invest in new windows, a less expensive but still energy efficient alternative is to invest in a low-emissivity or low-e coating. In a cold climate, low-e coatings are especially helpful since they are designed to let in some infrared energy while reducing interior heat loss.
The most popular and cost-effective way to insulate windows is simply cover them with a plastic film. While your country cousins may have a DIY solution, if you are not particularly handy and don’t want to spend a lot of time on this project, simply go to your local hardware store and ask for a window insulation kit or order one online. On average, the kits, which typically come with enough materials to cover three windows, cost less than $10, and if you don’t own a toolkit, don’t panic. Most plastic films either come with an adhesive or are designed to be shrink wrapped onto your windows with a blow dryer. That’s right—if you know how to blow dry your hair, you can weather proof a window.

Beyond reducing heat loss through your window panes, it is important to plug any cracks around your windows. For this reason, you may also want to weather strip or caulk your windows, but be certain to first assess your own ventilation needs. If you live in a small apartment and need to regularly air out your unit to prevent your living room furniture from smelling like last night’s dinner, sealing up all your windows for the winter is not recommended.
Doors
Doors are another obvious source of heat loss during the winter months. Since most New Yorkers live in apartment buildings or walk-ups, however, front doors are rarely a problem. The real culprit for most New Yorkers are balcony doors - a blessing in the summer, but a curse in the winter. If you have a metal or wooden door, purchase a door sweep to seal the bottom of the door and if required, a weather stripping kit to seal the top and sides of the door. The average door sweep only costs $6 to $12 dollars, can be easily installed, and significantly reduce your energy loss.
If you have a sliding glass door, there are additional steps you can take to reduce your energy loss. First, check to ensure that no debris has an accumulated in the door track. If you find debris, vacuum the track since the debris may alter the door’s fit and create drafts. Otherwise, treat your sliding glass door like you would any window by using any combination of glazing, filming, weather stripping, or caulking to ensure that cold air stays out and your heat stays in. If you anticipate going outside on a regular basis, of course, avoid any semi-permanent treatments. In that case, it is advisable to adopt the aesthetic of a tutor mansion and put up thick dark drapes instead. While this trick may seem highly antiquated, thick drapes will reduce your energy loss and if truth be told, drapes are much easier to match with one’s furniture than any form of weather stripping.
Ceilings
As already noted, heat rises, but it doesn’t need to be wasted. The same ceiling fans that help to cool your home in the summer months can be used to keep your home warm during the winter months. The trick is to avoid putting the fans on at a high speed. Instead, set the fans on a low speed to help push the warm air that rises to the ceiling back down to ground level.
Lower Your Thermostat—If You Can
Once you’ve tackled your windows, doors, floors, and ceilings the only thing left to do is to lower your thermostat. If you control your own thermostat, program it to drop to a lower temperature at night and during the day while you are at work. Of course, in New York City, only a minority of residents control their own thermostats.

Whether you live in a walk up or high rise, your unit’s heat is likely controlled by your building’s superintendent. By law, superintendents must adhere to citywide regulations. During the day, if the temperature dips below 55 degrees Fahrenheit, the indoor temperature must be at least 68 degrees. At night, if the temperature dips below 40 degrees, the indoor temperature must be at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit. As a result, while everyone is free to make their unit more energy efficient, only a minority of New Yorkers are fully in control of how much energy is ultimately used to keep their home warm during the winter months.

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Spacious 1 Bedrooms with outdoor space and in-residence w/d View Property
Luxury Homes in Midtown | Newly Renovated Studio-2BR Homes View Property
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