How to Keep Your Apartment Warm During the Cold Boston Winter


Recent rankings by U.S News and World Reports show that Boston is among the 18th most desirable places to live in the U.S. However, like most places in the U.S, Boston winter can be grueling.

During these three or so months (early December to mid-March), temperatures are very low, and your apartment can get pretty cold. You need heating to survive the winter comfortably.

Read on to learn several creative ways to keep your apartment warm during the cold Boston winters.


1. Insulate Your Apartment Windows

Drafty windows are a common cause of cold apartments during winter. In fact, such windows increase energy consumption, causing your bill to shoot up. That's because you'll turn on the heat, only for it to escape, forcing you to turn it up more.

Unless you address the issue, your apartment can never be warm.

As much as apartment buyers and renters want an apartment with natural lighting, this comes at an expense during winter. According to science, window panes heat up when you turn on the heat. The glass faces outdoor air, which has less energy than indoors. The panes lend some energy to the outside because air concentration is higher.

Fortunately, there's a way you can break this cold cycle by sealing and insulating your windows properly. This second layer covering your window may not be perfect but will go a long way in slowing down heat loss to the outside.

Some of the best ways to insulate your windows include:

  • Invest in heavier-fabric curtains or form a layer of heavier and lighter curtains. You may also consider cellular shades. These are a good option for letting in sunlight while still keeping your apartment warm.
  • Try a window insulation kit: This is a cheap and easy-to-install plastic-like wrap for your windows. You only need a hairdryer to stick the equipment to your window. Just ensure you get the go-ahead from your landlord.
  • Seal any crack around your windows: While panes are the leading cause of the bitter cold during Boston winters, you need to take care of the tiniest of cracks between your windows and walls. It's best to fill these gaps with rubber or caulk weather sealing. These are readily available at your local hardware store.
Orange flowers, orange butterfly


2. Invest in Draft Blockers/Guards (Or DIY Draft Excluders)

Sometimes, Boston can get super cold. But if it has never occurred to you that temperatures drop to as low as -28F, which is the lowest Boston has ever been, you may not be familiar with draft guards. Well, don't worry because you're about to learn about these handy tools.

Most apartments feature a gap between the door and hallway or the living room and bedroom. Charming as this space is, this gap allows cold air to sneak into your pad. This is where draft blockers come in.

Draft guards at the bottom of your doors block cold from entering your apartment. In addition, these long bean bag-like items help keep out unnecessary noise. Therefore, if you like silence, you can have them all year round.

You can order draft guards online. However, it's a good idea if you make them yourself. It's a DIY initiative that requires just a few materials-some fabric, zip lock bags, sand, and about 30 minutes of your time.


3. Cover Your Floors, Walls, and Any Other Cold Surfaces

Do you remember the principle of energy transfer we discussed earlier regarding window panes? It applies to floors and walls too. Hardwood floors, in particular, have various advantages, but keeping your apartment warm is not one of them.

Also, walls may not transfer as much energy as windows, but they can still let out a significant amount of heat. Insulating walls can prevent this excessive heat loss. In addition, put mirrors, pictures, bookshelves, tapestries, and other objects that can act as insulators against the wall.

Note, even a simple poster helps. It adds an extra insulation layer to raise internal temperatures by up to 20 degrees Fahrenheit and cut energy lost by approximately a quarter.

As much as you're in dire need to keep your apartment warm, avoid using anything you come across. In particular, avoid using the furniture you sit on to slow energy transfer from indoors. Instead, position it so there's a gap between it and the walls. This will help you stay warm.

Carpets and rugs on your floors will also help trap heat inside. These also act as wonderful décor.

The coldest day in Boston was February 1934, recording an average high of -28F and lows of -18F. On such days when it's freezing, you can also use blankets and towels to cover your apartment floors.


4. Increase Humidity in Your Apartment

It's not a surprise waking up to a dry or scratchy throat during the winter. Of course, the first thing to do is take some warm water and honey. However, this is only a temporary solution as you may wake up with the same condition again the following morning. A lasting solution would require investing in a humidifier.

Warm air holds more moisture than cold air. Therefore, you can expect humidity levels to drop during winter when there's more cold air. To keep your apartment warm, part of your efforts should include maintaining optimal humidity levels inside. This is important for your throat, skin, and overall health.

Optimal humidity levels are suitable for your furniture too. If humidity levels are too low, it can ruin your furniture as it presents certain germs with optimal conditions to thrive.

You can increase moisture levels in your apartment naturally. That means choosing not to dry your laundry with a dryer. Instead, hang them on a drying rack. Water molecules evaporate into the air as they dry, acting as a natural humidifier.

Alternatively, you can invest in a portable humidifier. Today, you can even install a PTAC unit with a heat pump in your apartment. A PTAC is a single, commercial-grade, ductless, self-contained air conditioning unit that heats and cools a small area. Install these in the walls of your room to heat your apartment, complementing your warming efforts.


5. Upgrade Your Bedding Situation

House on the countryside

It's not common to experience temperatures below the freezing point during Boston winter. However, it's advisable to break out your winter bedding when it gets too cold to ensure you don't have to endure a cold night.

When temperatures reach freezing levels, adding an extra blanket or throw will keep you warm all night long. Your winter bedding set should include the following:

  • A mattress pad
  • A comforter
  • Top and bottom flannel sheets

If you're still cold, consider installing an extra insulation layer. A canopy made from heavy fabric is a good example. Keep your winter bedding clean, fresh and safe so that you only pull and use it once the winter sets in.

With all these items, you can expect to be warm. You'll find that you can even turn the heat in your apartment down to 65F. As an additional tip, always have your slippers close by so that you don't step on a cold floor after a warm night.


Extra Tips on How to Keep Your Apartment Warm During the Cold Boston Winter

There are many other ways to keep your apartment warm during winter. These include:

  • Dress warmly in heavy-fabric sweaters, socks, and sweatpants.
  • If the apartment is too cold, focus on keeping warm in whatever room you're in. At night, this should be your bedroom. At the same time, this will save energy.
  • Avoid losing heat up your apartment chimney. Instead, invest in a chimney balloon, which you'll install inside the chimney hole. Once inflated, the balloon blocks hot air from escaping and cold air from coming in. You can also invest in woolen chimney insulators. Just ensure you remove them before lighting a fire.
  • Leave the bathroom door open when showering to allow warm, damp airflow all over your apartment.
  • Insulate ductwork and radiator or hot water pipes passing through non-living areas. This prevents heat loss in these areas until the pipes reach your living areas, warming your apartment.


Final Words

Boston is a great place to live. The apartments are pretty affordable for buyers and renters wishing to settle there. Also, the winters are not too cold. The tips mentioned above should help you keep your apartment warm while at the same time not interfering with your utility budget.

It's impossible to avoid the cold entirely. However, with a bit of effort, you can keep your apartment warm and cozy enough for you to enjoy coming home after a hockey game or snowball fight with your friends.

If you're looking to purchase or rent an apartment in Boston, contact Boston Apartments today. The company features hundreds of landlords and real estate agencies, with apartments for sale and rent.



This article was published on 01/04/22.