Insulate a cold apartment

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Help! My apartment is on the top floor in a building which is made of concrete. This means that in wintertime we get very cold. Our neighbors spent a lot of money and built extra insulation into their walls, but we can't afford that right now- so I am looking for some tips: perhaps tapestries on the walls? insulation of windows with heavy curtains? Heavy carpets? (though the cold seems to come from the exterior walls / ceiling) Thanks!!
  10 answers
  • MaryKY MaryKY on Dec 11, 2015
    Have you contacted your utility company to see if they offer free energy audits? An energy audit will show where your apartment is losing heat, so you can focus your efforts on the problem areas. You might also contact your state housing office to see if they have weatherization assistance grants or tax credits for installing insulation. If it's extremely cold around your windows, you may want to insulate them with plastic sheeting before adding curtains - you can find window insulation kits and weatherstripping kits at any home improvement store. If you can't afford to install carpeting right now, room size carpet remnants are a less expensive alternative.
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Dec 11, 2015
    The first thing I would recommend is to cover your windows with weather stripping and hang insulated drapes or curtains depending on the size of the window. Next To keep the cost down go to thrifts stores and purchase some pretty quilts and make them a wall hanging.Although you mentioned carpets do not block the cold try putting carpet padding underneath them.If none of these will work for you then I think its time to have the landlord talk.
  • Pam Smith Pam Smith on Dec 11, 2015
    You can also put bubble wrap on the window. wet the window a little and place the flat side of the bubble wrap on the window. When the sun comes in it heats the air in the room just like the water in a pool.
    • Linda Johnson Linda Johnson on Dec 11, 2015
      @Pam Smith We did this for our windows. It helped tremendously. Then I bought a one-way window film that works like the bubble wrap, but we can see outside. Window film will cut down on drafts.
  • Carole Bisby Carole Bisby on Dec 11, 2015
    I think try all of the above, also in the winter I use an electric throw and now we purchased a real nice electric hear off of HSN on tv and we keep our heat lower and just take the heater in the room we are in and it has helped a lot! Good Luck!
  • Chris Chris on Dec 11, 2015
    Wrap solid foam insulation sheets from Home Depot in cheap painters drop cloths (you can paint a design on the cloths or leave them plain) and double sided tape or velcro the whole thing on the exterior walls....temporary for now, but the insulation sheets could be used in a permanent installation later down the road.
  • LindaK LindaK on Dec 11, 2015
    We used to live in a poorly insulated house and I made window quilts attached with Velcro strips for covering the windows at night.
    • See 1 previous
    • Tova Tova on Dec 12, 2015
      @DORLIS I love the quilt idea and was wondering the same...
  • Judy Ann Judy Ann on Dec 11, 2015
    love the bubble wrap idea, am going to tell my daughter about that, thanks
  • Mary Clark Mary Clark on Dec 12, 2015
    You could hang thermal curtains or some of the plush throws. Get a throw that has a scene or print you like and frame it like a window. If you do the curtain idea you could then put the bubble wrap between the curtains and wall.
  • Bette Bette on Dec 12, 2015
    Use 3M plastic to cover all of your windows. It works the best.
  • Lori Johnson Lori Johnson on Dec 14, 2015
    Take it from someone who rented a 1970's trailer. They had no insulation back then! Thinsulate curtains are a great year round solution. But this old school idea, works great! It's 3M window insulation. It's like Shrink wrap for your Windows. U can buy it at home improvement stores even Wal-Mart. You will need to measure your Windows first and have a hair dryer. Use the hair dryer to shrink wrap the window. Weather Striping is a great year round investment. I found for my older house, apply it to the door verses the door jam. If applied right, u will hear the seal release when u open the door. I do. If the cold is from the walls, check for openings left behind from past maintenance repairs. Maintain techs will leave pipes, ductwork expose so access is easier for future repairs. Seal it up, even if it's just a plastic bag and duct tape, it will help. If u have a radiator style heating, a glass cake pan of water to put humidity in the air. Add some liquid potpourri and have ur house smell good too! For drafts across the floor, roll an old towel and lay it across the floor where the door meets the floor. It keep drafts coming from under the door, around where cabinets meets the floor. Years back Builders weren't required to insulate where interior walls, meet exterior walls. Plus electric outlet prefab foam insulation. Or spray foam insulation around electric outlet.Wear gloves when using this,remove face plate cover, tape over outlet before spraying. Hope this helps.