If you've moved into a house or apartment with a less-than-optimal, old heater setup, you have to figure out a way to ensure all the rooms you're using are comfortable. If you're in a rental unit or renting a room from someone, however, you don't always have the option to permanently change your surroundings. Even if the landlord is providing the legal minimum regarding heating, personal limits can make rooms seem colder than they should be, especially if there's one heater in the main room but none in the bedrooms (this is an issue for some older buildings). However, space heaters aren't always the solution. Here are some ways to ensure your rental home or room stays warm without drastically increasing your utility bill or creating safety issues.
Work That Door Gap
If you are in a structure that has one heater in the living room, like a gas wall furnace, but none in the bedrooms, check the gap under your bedroom door. If you can feel warm air coming in under that gap, you can do a couple of things. One is to keep your bedroom door open whenever possible, of course. But if you need your privacy, get an air-circulating fan and place it so it picks up the warm air coming in from under the door. While a regular table or box fan will do this, too, a circulating fan spreads the air over a wider area.
Block That Door Gap
Of course, if you have your own room heater that works, the problem could be warm air escaping your room instead of staying and warming it up. Get a draft blocker (often called a draft snake because they're sometimes decorated to look like comical snakes), which is a small, elongated pillow filled with seeds or small beads that you place over the gap at the bottom of the door. Also check for drafts near electrical outlets and along your windows; get your landlord or the building maintenance crew to fill in gaps creating the drafts near outlets, and look into adding window film to make your windows less leaky.
Level Up Your Baking Skills
If the issue isn't so much that your heating system isn't good, but it's really just that you prefer warmer temperatures without the extra heating bills, running your oven is a great way to provide heat in the kitchen that you can transfer elsewhere in the house. Note: Never, ever run the oven or stove without actually cooking something and never leave them unattended. You can't just turn on a gas burner and use it like a mini fireplace unless you want lots of carbon monoxide in the home.
That being said, if you're actually using the stove and oven to cook, you can make your home nice and toasty. Place a couple of circulating fans at the border or doorway of the kitchen, pointed so that they'll send warm air from the kitchen into neighboring rooms.
Unblock Hidden Vents
If the place you're in came furnished, check behind the furniture. Sometimes you'll find vents that have been blocked.
If you'd like more passive-heating options for your rental home, or you think there really is a need to improve the heating system itself, talk to heater companies like One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning to find out what options you can present to your landlord. Many times there are newer technologies that are quite affordable and efficient, so you can have your heating and your landlord doesn't have to spend a fortune on remodeling.