I recently moved into a new apartment, though like many NYC dwellings, its newness is strictly as it relates to me: The place was built in 1901, and as charming as its pressed tin ceilings and molded fireplace is, the bastard is drafty as hell. The wind literally howls through the hallway, and as I was brushing my teeth last night, I looked up to find actual snow filtering down through one of the bathroom's old-ass skylights, probably the same skylight a young woman named Eliza gazed at a hundred years ago while she rubbed her teeth with a pile of boar hair.

Panicked by the threat of last week's impending Historical Blizzard, I acquired a space heater that has, more than any other appliance, changed my life. I still sleep under about six blankets, but at least I don't have to wear a hat anymore!

Things were great until approximately 15 minutes ago, when I was rudely reminded that my space heater, despite its warm, life-giving veneer, actually wants me dead.

I've thought about this only in passing, as I fall asleep with the space heater in my arms, my face and hair and eyelashes pressed into the soothing embrace of its mesh exterior. After all, what great love doesn't require sacrifice? Can anyone really put a price on hibernal comfort, and what is "combustible" anyway?

Not good enough, apparently. Fine. Then how the fuck am I supposed to stay warm in my antique shithole? As always, the Internet has answers.

Weatherproof Your Windows

A lot of my problem can be traced back to the visible gap between my window's lower sash and the jamb, which invites the icy night air to my room like a doting mother invites the neighborhood children in for cookies. Removable caulk provides a weatherproof seal that can be dramatically ripped off when summer finally arrives, at which point you can, I don't know, fashion it into a lei or a g-string or something.

Actually, Insulate Everything

Aside from sealing leaks, there's more you can do to keep pernicious air from creeping into your home. Window insulator kits provide an extra layer of protection, as will thick curtains. Do you have a snow-covered Narnia bathroom of your own? CLOSE THE DOOR. This won't make entering that room any more pleasant, but at least its structural shortcomings won't infect the rest of the house.

Wear Thick Socks

Everyone knows this, right? Wool hiking socks are the best socks for winter, even if "hiking" is just "walking from the subway," which, in many cases, it is. I'm wearing some right now, and my feet feel as though they're smashed right into the armpit of a feverish angel. That's a good thing, if you're wondering.


Your oven can be used for more than just storage! Pull out all the sweaters and board games typically shelved in your oven, and preheat it to 425 degrees. Insert a baking sheet lined with clumps of some sort of batter—it doesn't matter what kind. What matters is that your oven is essentially a second heater, and will warm up your space accordingly. Depending on what you're baking, it will probably also smell good! Unfortunately, you have to turn it off when your Baked Good of choice is done, or else it will catch fire and kill you or poison you with carbon monoxide.

Do not put your space heater in the oven.

Make The Most Of Your Radiator

Move furniture away from your radiator—you don't want your ingrate of a desk lapping up all the coveted heat. Conversely, putting a shelf above your radiator can help keep precious heat from drifting toward the ceiling and better channel it toward your shivering person. Still cold? Abandon the remains of your pride and build a nest directly in front of your radiator. This is winter—there's no time for vanity.

Use A Hot Water Bottle

Unlike space heaters and heating pads, which will catch fire and sear you to fine dust while you doze, hot water bottles will never betray you. Well, maybe not never. OK fine, hot water bottles are out for blood. Have you thought about cherrystones? If you're crafty, you can make your own! If you're crafty and looking to make a buck, sell that shit at Brooklyn Flea for $50 a pop. Use your money to move into an apartment with central heating.

Find A Willing Human To Sleep With
And then go to their house.

(h/t WikiHow, BBC)