There are many ways that you can deal with home insulation by bumping up your actual insulation, hiring a contractor to do some, or paying lots and lots of money for very specific upgrades. This story is not about those ways.
Instead, this is focusing on addressing drafts in your home due to poor insulation in simple ways, whether you're living in an apartment rental with a sub-par super or landlord. Or, just found your dream home that might as well be called Wuthering Heights but you couldn't resist its charm.
1. First things first: You've gotta figure out the origin of any drafts in your home. Walk around (safely!) with a lit candle or a stick of incense. You can zero in on where the drafts are when the flame flickers or smoke wafts.
2. Install an insulated soundproofing strip on your door to help muffle your roommate's sounds and keep out chilly breezes. OK, this isn't revolutionary, but it'll feel like it once you realize it would've improved your quality of life drastically if you bought it a year ago.
It *also* keeps cool air in your room!
Promising review: "Product works really well! I needed a quick fix to my home office situation. I live in an apartment in Manhattan and never noticed how much sound comes in and out, until I had to be on conference calls working from home! This little tape made a big difference; took me a couple of minutes to install." —Sandra Revueltas
3. And add on a ~streamlined~ door draft stopper to keep gusts from coming in under the door. It'll just look like a natural part of your door so other decor design choices (like that cute welcome mat) can shine!
4. Plus — if that's not enough — an additional weighted door draft stopper with a triangular design will surely trap out the air. It's non-slip and also reduces noise, which'll especially be welcome if your apartment neighbor whose front door is a mere three feet away from yours tends to come in way, way past your bedtime.
5. Apply some shrink wrap window insulation to help you keep from jacking up the heat in winter so you can sit in that lovely well-appointed living room with the breezy windows that let LOTS of natural light pour in. (It'll also help in the summer!)
Promising review: "My husband and I put this kit on all our windows in about one hour. I was afraid it would look terrible having plastic on the windows, but after you shrink and trim, it is not so noticeable, and it does keep out any draft and the stink bugs. I am going to try putting on the outside this summer on the cat door window to keep out the lady bugs and stink bugs which are terrible in our area." —Kat M.
Get it from Amazon for $13.99 (available in four sizes and two styles).
6. And if you have patio doors without storm windows that seem to leak in all sorts of cold air, an insulation kit for sliding doors can do the trick. There are tons of reviewers who are HUGE fans.
7. Fight even the tiniest of drafts with some flame-retardant socket sealers to help seal out the cold air that tends to leak inside through your outlets. This is something you can handle, even if you don't know how to hold a hammer.
The 24-piece set includes 16 outlet sealers, 6 switch plates, and 2 decorative covers.
Promising review: "Socket sealer. Say it with me. Socket sealer. Alliteration can be so much fun. Okay, now with that out of our system, down to brass tacks. I love these. They're cheap and easy to install. They block the draft that is sure to come out of an electrical outlet or a light switch. I've used these in apartments and in houses. They work both ways. Just unscrew the plate, slap one of these bad boys in, and screw the plate back in. Just be sure to not touch metal to metal or skin to metal. It's a good idea to flip the breaker to deactivate the outlets you're installing these on. Otherwise, you'll give yourself a nice jolt. Or three. You know how everyone tells you not to stick a fork into an outlet? The same principle applies here, except your finger is the fork, and you can't taste purple for a while. So, do yourself the favor of flipping the breaker before installing these. Don't make the same mistake I did. Once. Or, maybe three times. I can't remember too good now." —Frequency Jones
Get the 24-piece set from Amazon for $9.76.
8. Fight against bathroom drafts during your steamy shower (it's the little things), PLUS keep water *inside* the shower instead of all over your bathroom floor with these simple, cheap shower curtain holders.
Promising review: "Thought these would be silly, but they are great. Have a lot of trouble with leakage around my tub when I shower. Tried double liners and magnets but curtain still blows enough to leak onto the floor, and from there, through the ceiling of the dining room downstairs, thanks to an infinitesimal gap between flooring and wall. I was desperate, so I gave these a try. Problem solved. Liner stays tight against the tile and can be freed for cleaning." —D Polsky
Get a four-pack from Amazon for $9.99.
If you're a renter, it's a good idea to adhere these with water-resistant removable strips instead. Get a four-pack from Amazon for $4.71.
9. Pump up the glam *and* moderate your heat use with some super-luxe-looking, room-darkening velvet curtains that'll also keep your well-appointed space from feeling like a cave.
Promising review: "Purchased these for my studio, which is in an old mill. I wanted them for their insulating properties more than to block out the light because my studio loses a lot of heat at night due to its enormous windows. The curtains/drapes work great for both — I am especially pleased with how well they help keep the space from losing heat! Before having the curtains, the space would lose about 8 degrees in temperature overnight (which in the winter is a significant amount, especially in the Northeast). Now, with the curtains, the space no longer loses heat overnight! It is now so nice to go into my studio in the morning and find it still toasty warm!" —Noname
Get them from Amazon for $21.99+ a panel (available in four sizes and nine colors).
10. Or, if you're not into velvet, this pair of thermal curtains will also keep your central heat from making a quick escape.
11. And if you don't have the equipment to hang said curtains, use some NoNo Brackets, aka curtain rod brackets that fit onto your existing blinds so that you don't have to fool with drilling any holes for new window treatments.
Promising review: "This bracket is awesome and was extremely easy to install. We were able to hang curtains over our vertical blinds in just a few minutes and didn't even need any tools. Great product!!!" —Amazon Customer
Get a set of two from Amazon for $14.95 (also available in brown).
12. If you can't take out your AC for winter, use a window AC unit cover that'll keep out chilly air making its way in through your unit.
13. And don't forget about the air that creeps in through chimney flues and fireplaces you're not using. A wool flue blocker will keep drafts, noise, and debris from coming in through your fireplace.
14. And keep cold attic air where it belongs with an attic hatch insulation cover. Just make sure to measure twice before you place an order!
And now, for some toasty solutions for yourself if you're just cold after seemingly catching all the drafts in your home...
15. Make your WFH setup in the spare room or converted garage much toastier with a compact space heater that can fit on top of your desk.
16. Slip into a pair of fleece-lined memory foam slippers in case your feet are always cold and you don't even want to let your toes touch air.
17. And pull on some fleece-lined sweats that'll become your go-to when regular ole sweatpants just aren't enough. These'll keep you nice and toasty for that cabin weekend and BEYOND.
FYI, if you have Amazon Prime Wardrobe, you can give this a spin before you buy it!
Promising review: "I'm always cold in the Wisconsin winters. These toast me up and are perfect for lounging. So cozy." —Jodi Larson
Get them from Amazon for $19.99+ (available in sizes XS–XXL and nine colors).
18. Harness your (and your fam's) body heat with a super cozy, extra-large blanket (it's 10 x 10 feet!) — or, perhaps creating a giant blanket burrito with just you as the ingredient.
It's made from a temperature-regulating blend of polyester and spandex, making it softer than sherpa and fleece blankets while keeping you cozy yet cool!
Big Blanket Co. is a small business specializing in selling the world's largest blankets for the ultimate cozy setup in your home.
Promising review: "I instantly fell in love with this blanket. I was hesitant to purchase at first with the price, but I'm so glad I did. It's super soft, has just enough weight to it that it makes it soothing, and is surprisingly cool to sleep with. It doesn't get really hot like some of my other blankets do. The huge size is also a bonus, as I love hogging blankets all to myself." —Lindsey B.
Get it from Amazon for $159 (available in 16 colors).
19. Plus, some Eddie Bauer flannel sheets for a classic embrace worth the hype.
20. Snuggle up with an adorable microwaveable stuffed animal that'll be a secret heating pad. Oh, and it's lavender scented! Sometimes, you just need to hug something super warm instead of turning up the heat.
21. And keep your hands from going numb while you're plugged in and working on a presentation with a heated desk pad if your WFH space is always a bit drafty.
Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.