Don't think that because you live in an apartment, you can't do much to lower your heating bill. While you can't do certain things that come with owning a property, such as replace the building's furnace with a more energy-efficient one, there are many things you can do.
If rising heating costs make you shiver at the thought of how high your next heating bill will be, it's important to look for ways to keep your expenses in check.
Here are some things you can do that require little time and effort, and that won't cost you a penny:
1. Lower Your Thermostat
A toasty apartment in the winter is nice, but if no one's home to enjoy this comfort, then you're wasting your money (not to mention energy). If you and your roommate leave the apartment each day for work or school, try turning your thermostat down one, two, or even five degrees. If you go away for the weekend or for a longer period of time, turn the thermostat down up to ten degrees.
If you don't have a thermostat in your apartment, you can try to lower the temperature by tightening the valves or adjusting the controls on radiators or other individual heating units.
2. Keep Windows Shut
If you're in the habit of opening your bathroom window to air out the room after taking a shower, remember to close it promptly. Also, inspect the windows of your apartment to make sure they're all properly closed. Sometimes, windows that appear to be shut actually have some space at the bottom that lets in cold air. Plus, if your apartment has double-hung windows, the top sash can pop open slightly from the force of closing the bottom sash. So, check that your windows are closed at both ends.
3. Use Window Treatments Wisely
Keep blinds and curtains open during the daytime to let in sunlight. The more natural warmth you can get, the less you'll need to pay for heating. Also, close your blinds and curtains after sunset to keep the warm air inside and prevent cold air that may be coming in through openings in your windows from spreading into your apartment.
4. Heat Only the Rooms That Need It
Don't waste money heating rooms in your apartment that you don't use much. For instance, say you have a spare bedroom in your apartment that you use for storage. Close heating vents, lower individual thermostats, or tighten radiator valves so that the room doesn't get as much heat as the rest of your apartment. Once you've set the room to be cooler, be sure to keep the door closed so that the cooler air doesn't escape into the rest of your apartment.
5. Move Furniture Away From Vents
Take your heating system into consideration when arranging the placement of your furniture, even if you move in during the summer. Avoid placing sofas or other large pieces of furniture directly in front of a low wall heating vent or on top of a floor vent. If your options are limited, be creative. For example, if you must keep your sofa along the wall where a vent is located, move the sofa a foot or so away from the wall to allow the warm air to circulate.