Getting Warm Without Going Broke

By Ron Leshnower, MyNewPlace Guest Blogger and About.com’s Apartment Living expert!

If you’ve been paying a lot to keep your apartment warm this winter, you no doubt hope the groundhog won’t see his shadow tomorrow. After all, you have better ways to spend your money than on high monthly heating bills, right?

So far, it’s been a particularly cold and snowy winter for much of the country. When temperatures fall, your building’s heating system has to work that much harder to maintain the same temperature, which means you’ve got to dig deeper into your pockets to pay your heating bills.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to maximize the heat in your apartment without having to turn up the thermostat or radiator valves. Here are two ways you can get the heat you need for little or no additional money, while keeping your bills down:

1) Follow common-sense tips. You can take simple, no-cost action right now to make sure you don’t spend a penny more than you need to when it comes to heating your apartment. For example, keep blinds and curtains open when you leave for the day to allow natural sunlight to enter your apartment. Also, if a sofa, end table, or other piece of furniture is blocking heating vents, reposition it to ensure efficient heating of the room. (For more tips, see my article “Lower Your Heating Bill at Zero Cost” for About.com.)

2) Invest a little to save a lot. Sometimes, spending a few dollars can save you several dollars. A good example is a draft snake, or draft stopper. This item fits snugly along the bottom of a door and aims to stop cold air from entering a room while keeping warm air inside. Many apartment dwellers find that a draft snake, at a cost of around $10, more than pays for itself thanks to month after month of lower heating bills. (For more ideas, see my article “Keep Your Heating Bill Down With Low-Cost Purchases” for About.com.)

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Ed. note: for more suggestions on how to save money in the winter months, check out our Nov. 10th post ‘Ten Ways To Save Money By Winterizing Your Apartment

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