Thursday, January 15, 2009

A small success!

When we first moved here to The Burrow it was spring of 2003.  My oldest, Boy, was 1 and I was hugely pregnant with my oldest girl, The Human Crash Test Dummy.

After THCTD was born (in April), I spent the summer and fall improving the house, building a door to the upstairs, taking down all the weird hooks one of the previous owners had put up everywhere and the hideous, cheap shelves another had.

Then winter arrived.

We discovered v. quickly one of the problems with owning an old house.  There is NO insulation underneath the floor, and the hall, which used to be the porch connecting the house and the detatched kitchen, had gaps between the boards that you could see down into. All of the windows and doors leaked; you could stand in the parlour and feel the wind when it blew outside - which is often.

So I spent the first winter tacking up plastic on the windows, and caulking, and weatherstripping.

My average monthly gas bill for heating was $450.

In subsequent winters I put up more plastic, hung heavy blankets or drapes over little-used windows, and this last summer, I finished installing curtains in front of ALL exterior doors (in the British fashion - you draw them aside when you want to use the door.)  Here's a v. fancy version:

Curtain over door, no drafts, save money, winterizing old house

My gas bill (and my electric bill in the summer) has dropped by over half but I didn't really realise the huge difference until this morning.  It's supposed to be 21 degrees tonight and it was right at 30 this morning, but when I walked into the kitchen it didn't feel any colder.  The heater no longer runs constantly (I have it set at 68) and the house is pretty comfortable all over if you have long sleeves on.

Winterizing, success!  (Finally!)



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