Tips on preparing your apartment for summer in Chicago

Summers in Chicago make most city dwellers warm and happy, but receiving an air conditioning bill can leave you feeling icy. Outside temperatures can have a major effect on the inside of your apartment if you don’t take certain measures to prepare it for the summer, and in a place like Chicago where summers are generally hot and humid, your air conditioning bill can get ridiculously high. In order to cut energy costs and maintain a livable temperature in your place, you should consider weatherproofing your apartment.   

The key to having a cool and comfortable apartment this summer is insulation. By insulating your living space, you’ll conserve cool air and keep it from escaping through windows, cracks and other open breaks. The first thing you’ll need to do is examine the areas in your apartment that need insulation. Windows, doors, vents and cracks in the corners of each room are good places to check out. One way to test the insulation is to take a small fan and blow it on a window or around a door. If you feel any air on the other side, the insulation should be replaced. Another way to test the insulation is to light a candle and move it around a window or door frame. You should replace any insulation on the areas where the light flickers. 

Once you determine what areas need insulation, you’ll have to decide what kind of insulation is necessary—caulk, weather stripping, spray, fiberglass, etc. You can purchase most types of insulation from your local hardware store. Installing the insulation can be a DIY project since many kinds are relatively cheap and easy to put in. For example, rolled insulating material with an adhesive back that is pressed into windows is generally the simplest. Other ways to cut your energy bill are to use fans instead of air conditioning. Strategically located portable fans and ceiling fans rotating counterclockwise to push air downward and create a stronger draft will make your home feel cooler. Shades or drapes will keep sunlight out which can reduce heat in your apartment, and energy efficient light bulbs will also generate less heat and cut your electrical bill. 

Insulation, fans, curtains and energy efficient lighting for your apartment can lead to lower electrical bills and more comfortable room temperatures in the summer. Whether you're renting a Lincoln Park apartment, Bucktown apartment, Lakeview apartment or other neighborhood apartment, weatherproofing your place and using these other handy tips will make your apartment more pleasant this summer.   

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