Tuesday, December 2, 2008

oh, the weather outside is frightful

Actually rather unfrightful today, but it's working on it, so I'm trying to get the apartment ready for winter. Attempted to put up fresh weatherstripping on the doors today. The back door went fine, but on the front door there is a small gap between the door and the frame, but then right inside the room the carpet is lumpy enough that once I put the weatherstripping on I couldn't open the door. I guess I could have left it up as an alternative security device, so that even if a burglar managed to pick the lock, the door still wouldn't budge.

I'm also putting plastic sheeting up on the windows, but that has its own set of challenges. This apartment has a million windows (okay, eightteen) and almost all of them are 65" tall. Which, for those of you who haven't bought window plastic lately, is just two inches longer than the plastic in most standard window insulating kits. That was a fun discovery my first winter here. So I have to buy the big patio door kits and cut the plastic into strips.

What else can I do to winterize a rental? Heating the rooms that you're in instead of heating the whole unit is a nice idea, but the apartment is so big and open that space heaters would be impractical. This place desparetly needs some new, non-rattly windows and some better insualtion, but that's not my department. The landlord did put in a new, more efficent natural gas furnace last year, and that helps. I keep the thermostat as low as I'm comfortable with (65 when I'm home/awake, and 60 at night). As an added bonus, when you keep the thermostat that low, the cats are far, far more likely to curl up in your lap or in bed.

I'm dreaming of next year, when I will hopefully have my own house, and I can make it as snug as I want. When I can afford it, I want to get a wood stove as a supplemental--if not primary--heat source. Northern Minnesota has a strong lumber industry, so heating with wood would be one of the cheaper options, and it's certainly more environmentally friendly than burning fossil fuels. In the mean time, I'm putting up plastic on the windows and am heating with cat.

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