Last month we got a letter from our electric utility. We are at the “100% percentile for electricity use among neighbours with houses similar to ours”. That’s the bad end of the spectrum. Of course, we don’t have any neighbours with houses similar to ours – 800 sq.ft, work from home, all electric. Still – it doesn’t make us feel the warm fuzzy.
And yes, ‘warm fuzzy’ – this is about insulation. Our house is old. After our first big electric bill, a guy came from the City to help us with an energy audit. He pointed his infra-red gun at our walls and told us we had no insulation. When they came to blow insulation into the ’empty’ walls, they discovered a loose matrix of wool insulation – preventing them from simply popping holes in the outside wall and blowing in new stuff. Strike one.
Strike two: our windows are all single-panel, original leaded glass. They are very ‘quaint’. And very inefficient. There are brackets on the window frames where storm windows once hung. Unfortunately, we could not afford to have new ones made. We knew we needed to do something, so we decided on custom-cut acrylic panels.
Are they working? Yes. and no. No more condensation on the windows. And it is much quieter inside the house. So it greatly reduces the transfer of energy through the windows. However, our electric bill did not go down appreciably. But that is another story…