I never realized just how drafty one of my apartments was until I lived through my first polar vortex. A polar vortex is this weather phenomena that happens every so often up north; it’s basically a fancy term for a front of extremely cold air, usually caused by high winds. The last one I lived through plummeted parts of the country to minus 68 degrees. That’s 68 degrees below zero! While it didn’t happen quite that bad where I lived–we were spared with a mere 28 degrees below zero–we had her own additional issues because of it. The areas with less cold air were due to the weather being less dry, allowing for storms. The result: subzero temperatures in an ice storm. It wasn’t until it got that cold that I realized just how drafty my apartment was. The thermostat was set at 60, but the temperature read 50. The electric furnace was cycling constantly; it was never shutting off! I walked around, and sure enough every window was leaking in cold air, even locked! But it wasn’t the sides like I was used to, it was the bottom where the gasket was. Clearly, it needed to be replaced. But I couldn’t leave the apartment due to the storm to get plastic to cover it. What I ended up doing was getting every towel in the house, rolling them up tight, and shoving them all along the window sills. It looked ridiculous, but it worked. Two hours later, the apartment was heated and the central electric heater system finally clicked off. I had no idea those modern-looking windows could lose so much heat!