America · Ask Tara · Lifestyle

How To Heat An Apartment In Winter

I am always cold! What do I do?

As the weather gets cooler and then turns to cold, I start figuring out what needs to be done to keep myself cosy and comfortable at home. What needs to be brought out from storage? What needs cleaning and when to weather strip my windows ( some of them.) I also take out a lot of my winter wear from boxes I have stacked on the top shelf of my closet. This post is primarily about how I make my apartment comfortable.

Evidently, I do not live in one of those New York City apartments that have mandatory heating from October through May. Neither do I live in a centrally heated home. I live in a small apartment, much smaller than the car garages some people in the country have!

The apartment I live in, has an in-unit heating system that we use as an AC in the summer and a heater in winter. That unit is great to cool down my place, but I do not like it as a heating unit. It makes the entire apartment stuffy and dry making a great recipe for my nose bleeds. Having moved from the tropics, there is a certain heat level it needs to be at for me to say I’m ‘comfortable!’

In unit, wall A/C and heating unit. (You can see my windows have been weather stripped!)
I’ve bought a couple of radiant oil heaters to heat up my apartment. They come on wheels making it possible to wheel them to wherever I am sitting. I have used Delonghi’s heaters for years and like them a lot! The oil heaters on their own are less efficient as when they are used in conjuncture with a humidifier. My apartment becomes a toasty little haven! It not only makes me feel warm and comfy, it prevents my skin from drying out. No! That does not mean I can stop using lotions or oils on my body.

My portable heater

Warm mist humidifier
For me cold weather is all about a fire place! It’s sort of the image I’ve always had about snow and winter. Hot drinks, blankets and a fire place. Since my apartment does not allow me to have a real one, I have an electric fire place. It only circulates hot air, but it’s what I use to get warm quickly and to give my place a warm glow.

Fireplace in the daytime, doubles up as a bookshelf and TV stand.
My unit has a lot of windows, so I use a lot of curtains to keep out the cold. After sunset, I have the heat on and the blinds and thermal curtains closed. “WeMo” a little timer on my outlets starts up the heat after sunset. I love this little smart plug that Ashwin introduced into our lives! I also have curtains to separate sparingly used hallways from the actual living area. This helps keep the heat and humidity contained to the living areas.

Curtains separate my living spaces to optimize heating and cooling.
Baking in the oven is a sure shot way to get your apartment warm, smelling delicious and full of food that will keep you cozy on a cold day.

I wish I knew all this the first year I landed in this country. It would have saved me from a lot of misery–chipping my tooth, always being cold and shedding a lot of tears! All in all I would have been comfortable in a warm toasty apartment and would have been way easier on my wallet. I guess, better late than never! 😉

Stay warm Y’all!


If you have any other tips to heat up an apartment/home please share them in the comments section or send me an email.

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