The Warm Fuzzy of Insulation

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.

The rather icky old wool insulation loosely filling our walls.

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.

Single-pane glass weeping condensation on a cold autumn morning.

Improvised acrylic storm windows held in with wood trim.

The visibility was much better than I expected - from the inside we couldn't even see they were there!

For the few windows that open in summer, we used single butterfly brackets.


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…

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This entry was posted in DIY, energy, Sustainability, winter and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Warm Fuzzy of Insulation

  1. THere must be an insulation solution. You should talk to Peter about this.

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