How to warm an apartment with no central heating.


From December to March the temperature variates from 40's to just below freezing and it's hard to stay warm. The apartment is to the North and has a lot of windows. Please could someone give me advice on how to keep a house warm without central heat!

  8 answers
  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Dec 06, 2017
    The first thing I would do is use the 3M window cover system. It is easy to put up the double sided tape and film, and to shrink it down. It will look like another pane of glass. Check around the doors for air leaks, there are all kinds of things you can get to take care of where the doors leak. There are many electric heaters you can use, I would get one with a fan built in if you can find one so the heated air will circulate in the room you are in at the time. Don't use heaters than run on any kind of fuel, that would be bad as carbon dioxide would build up in the apartment and not be good for your health. I hope this helps. Have a great holiday season!

    • See 1 previous
    • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Dec 06, 2017
      It is a kit that can be purchased to cover the whole window and frame. You put the double faced tape on the frame, put the film on a little bit loosely, then use the hair dryer to shrink it taut. Just don't get too close with the hair dryer, if it touches it will melt it instead of tightening. If that happens you can put a patch on it with the tape and shrink that in. When it is tight all the way, cut the excess of close to the outer edge of the tape and it should look smooth and shiny as a window. Here way up north they are used a lot. When it is warm again and you don't need them, just pull the tape and film off. The first window will be the hardest, after that it goes easier. One thing I do is shrink it from the top and around the sides to start, then I do the middle. It will show you if the tape is loose before it is pulled too tight. Good luck! You should have no problem doing this. If I could figure it out, then you should too!

  • Tokyotammylynn Tokyotammylynn on Dec 06, 2017
    We live in Japan and most houses don't have central air... especially not rentals! Kerosene heater is the sanity saving answer. I fought my husband for 4 years because I thought they were totally unsafe. However, the newer ones burn clean with no funky smell, and if knocked over or even bumped hard they shut off. OMG winter has been so much more tolerable since I gave in! Toasty warm and about a quarter of the cost of the electric bill to run the individual heaters in each room!

  • Bijous Bijous on Dec 06, 2017
    Electric heaters have come a long way. I have a Honeywell that has a remote control. I used it for 2 years before I could afford to replace the heating system. I also used small "personal" heaters in the bedroom and bathroom. I had them on timers to start warming before I got out of bed. I also draped my windows with clear heavy duty plastic "curtains", then canvas drop cloths. I used double curtain rods and attached each with curtain clips so there was no sewing. I could open the drop cloths and let in light because the plastic still helped with the cold. Worked for me and was attractive. You can even paint or stencil the cloth and plastic.

  • Ken Ken on Dec 06, 2017
    So, if I understand correctly, you are in a rental apartment that has no source of heat. I hope that your rent reflects this.

    Is there natural gas? Are you on the ground floor so that you could have a propane tank (with landlord's consent) installed outside? Is propane (LPG) even available? Is the electrical system robust enough to supply power to a 1500 watt electric heater? Is there white kerosene available? That was a popular heat source a couple of decades ago with the Kero-Sun heater.

    There are just so many ways to heat a building and you haven't given much in the way of details. Tell us what you have and we will try to recommend solutions but I see that you are in Mexico and the solutions that will work here in the US may not work there. Does your landlord have no suggestions?

    • Janet Buchholz Janet Buchholz on Dec 06, 2017
      Thank you for your ideas, Ken. The propane tank can't be used and electricity is expensive here. Everyone seems to be used to the problem and dress in layers -- me too -- but I am from a tropical country and my body hasn't gotten very used to the cold yet. We have a couple small electrical heaters but don't like to use them much because of the expense. We are considering principally, for now, better ways to protect the windows.

  • Danielle Danielle on Dec 06, 2017
    Buy an electric fireplace and install it against the wall. Also, check to see how well your windows are insulated. If they are horrible there are some kits you can buy that are removable after the season is over. They actually do help a lot. All those products are available on Amazon, but you would have to check to see if international shipping is supported.

    • Janet Buchholz Janet Buchholz on Dec 06, 2017
      Thanks Danielle. I'll check what kits are available on Amazon and if we can get them down in Mexico.

  • Jpk Jpk on Dec 06, 2017
    I use a hot oil heater found at lowes under $75.. It's a closed system so no chance of fire, accidental burning, or spillage.. sent my daughter off to collage with several years ago too, she still has it and loves it, best gift ever

  • 2dogal 2dogal on Dec 06, 2017
    I would be very concerned if you are renting and do not have access to heat. I am not sure that is legal. Talk to your landlord!!

  • Denial Denial on Aug 02, 2021

    There are actually many options for heating your home. I think you need to explore all the options with a local company that deals with such issues. For my home, I contacted Excelsior Air, who recommended several heating system options for me. It's easier to make a decision when you know your options.