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Prepping in an Apartment

drwkids
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Re: Prepping in an Apartment

Postby drwkids » Tue Oct 06, 2015 2:32 am

As we gear up for winter any ideas to keep the apartment warm? I have done those shrink wrap things before but not really great. The apartment doesn't seem to keep warm very well. Any ideas?
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thecrownsown
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Re: Prepping in an Apartment

Postby thecrownsown » Tue Oct 06, 2015 2:12 pm

drwkids wrote:As we gear up for winter any ideas to keep the apartment warm? I have done those shrink wrap things before but not really great. The apartment doesn't seem to keep warm very well. Any ideas?


-The imfamous shrink wrap on the window. :) Ya it sucks but it does save a lot of $$$.

-Doors to balcony or patio. Not sure if you have one but if you do, make sure the weatherstripping is all secure and stops drafts. If you dont need access to this over winter you can seal it right off. At the base roll up some towels to impede any cold drafts coming through. Or they now sell those novelty door things that sit along the base of your door and do the same thing. (I've seen them at linen stores, dollarama, craft stores, etc.)

-Check the caulking around the windows on the exterior and interior. Fill it in where necessary. You can also caulk around the trim. I've had it where in severe cold I've felt cold air dumping in from the trim around the window. Not the best solution but better than ripping everything apart just caulk the trim to act as an air barrier.

-Do you have forced air heating in your place or radiators? Whatever you have make sure they are clean. so if its forced air (like a furnace blowing unit) replace the air filter, and vaccuum out the vents and return air grilles as best you can. If its baseboard heaters or hot water vaccuum off the grilles and keep them clean to maximize efficiency.

-Check the seals on windows. If you see condensation inbetween the panes of glass the thermal seal has broken. That means virtually no insulating factor in that glass. (If it isnt sealed, it cant keep the air trapped inside to act as an insulator) If the window is under warranty get it replaced. If not there are companies in the yellow pages that reseal these for a fraction of the cost of replacing the entire unit.

-Any receptacles along the exterior wall? Take off the face plate and give it a quick look. Often they dont wrap them with insulation and the odd time you can see daylight! If you can, have them replaced with insulated boxes. If you can do it yourself or if the condo corp./management company has to do it see if you can jam some additional insulation around them also. Its not a technically difficult job but does require some experience. If neither of these is an option, just put some of those child protection plugs into the slots and if you can something against this area during the winter months to impede the cold coming through.

-If you have to buy smaller base board or parabolic heaters to plug into the wall. Check the kw/hr ratings on them. Some models are way more efficient than others. And even though you may pay an extra $50 bucks for one vs. the other you'll make that up in efficiency over a few months anyways..then it pays for itself. I'm not sure if what type of heating system you have but if its nat. gas you would be better using the furnace than electricity anyways.

Hope that helps to start. :)
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drwkids
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Re: Prepping in an Apartment

Postby drwkids » Sat Oct 10, 2015 6:13 pm

Thanks thecrownsown. Some of those things I have done, like the caulking around the windows I fixed last year basic draft protectors. I will definitely take a look at the receptacles through, that's one I never thought about.
Our apartment has those cheap baseboard heaters. What do I need to do to clean them? Can I replace those elements inside them? Who knows how old these are.
Thanks for the ideas.
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woodbooger
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Re: Prepping in an Apartment

Postby woodbooger » Tue Oct 13, 2015 3:33 pm

Hey drwkids, i imagine the baseboards could probably just be vacuumed out and check that the fins arent all mangled and bent. As far as the plugs and switches go you can buy foam "gaskets" for them that fit behind the cover plates and help to seal out drafts. If you are thinking about stuffing insulation or something around the boxes i would suggest turning off the power or at least using something non-conductive like a popsicle stick or a paint stir stick. For obvious reasons screw drivers and butter knives, although effective, should only be used after confirmation that the power is off
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thecrownsown
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Re: Prepping in an Apartment

Postby thecrownsown » Wed Oct 14, 2015 7:56 pm

woodbooger wrote:Hey drwkids, i imagine the baseboards could probably just be vacuumed out and check that the fins arent all mangled and bent. As far as the plugs and switches go you can buy foam "gaskets" for them that fit behind the cover plates and help to seal out drafts. If you are thinking about stuffing insulation or something around the boxes i would suggest turning off the power or at least using something non-conductive like a popsicle stick or a paint stir stick. For obvious reasons screw drivers and butter knives, although effective, should only be used after confirmation that the power is off


Yes. 100% correct.

I'd just add that the actual boxes for the receptacles can be bought that are already insulated. Not just a gasket as an air barrier but they will have a foam casing to help act as a thermal barrier. I'd still jam insulation around them if there is none present in the wall system by the existing boxes. Cant hurt to have more insulation. As WB said, make sure the power is off and if your hesitant to do this yourself make sure you get someone who is experienced in handling this kind of stuff and can rewire the receptacles, etc.

Also, if the fins are old and bent, see if you can pry them back off each other. Its more efficient that way then if they are smushed up against each other. Just double check to make sure they are electric and not hot water. sometimes you can get hot water running in a similar type of baseboard heater and there are a number of condo's like that in KW. Either way vaccuum them off and your set.
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Goldie
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Re: Prepping in an Apartment

Postby Goldie » Wed Apr 05, 2017 1:31 am

I am getting my well upgraded to have the extension , so will be looking again at this idea
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