Insulation Effort on My Apartment

I rent, as most of you had figured out by now, and had been renting for about 3 years now. While I fully enjoy the convenient location, decent neighborhood, and reasonble cost of my rental, the biggest gripe for me is its lack of insulation. It can sometimes be hotter and colder than the outside in summer and winter, respectively. A side effect of that is then a very costly energy bill for me during the few months when bay area gets quite cold.

Well, I decided I have had enough of the coldness and wallet-sucking energy bill in winter, so I stopped by Home Depot on the weekend and bought myself some caulk, a caulking gun, and some high-density self-adhesive foam strip.

After that, I went through and check all the windows, the sliding door to balcony, and the front door. How did I do that, you may ask? And I will answer, “Very primitively! Using my naked eyes and feeling with my bare hands!”

Because autumn is approaching and bay area cools down a lot in the evening, I waited until the evening to perform the inspection. Using my hand, I went through and check every cracks and corners for wind draft and cool air flowing in. One thing that helped tremendously is to wet your hand, which makes it much easier to feel the cool air. Another thing you can do, that I knew but didn’t do, is if you have the help of another person, ask him to use a blow driver, portable fan, etc. to blow at the cracks and connecting points to make it really obvious where the outside air is leaking in.

In the end, I used mostly the foam strip to block off the non-insulated areas and had to use very little caulk. I taped them where the bedroom windows hit their frame, around the front door on the inside, and at top and bottom of the sliding door.

Now is 2 nights after my insulation effort, and I can already tell the difference in temperature before and after. The self-adhesive foam strip is about $3 for a 17′ roll, rendering them very cost-effective and me in love with them right now. If they can lower my energy bill drastically this winter, I am going to love them even more!

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