Sunday, January 20, 2013

Calm Before the Storm

Look at Saturday. It actually got to 36F, yep a 40F swing in just a few hours!
I told you earlier this week about how drafty our house is. A couple of weeks ago we were able to pick up 3 rolls of R19 insulation for just $20 after rebate. So we grabbed 3 and have been trying to find the time to get to it.

Don't worry, I left the vent gap along the ceiling
joists, it's just hard to see in the photo.
Today was the day. We have had a pretty mild winter. It has even been in the 40F's this week! That is changing as I type. This morning was a balmy 36F, a couple of hours ago the wind started to pick up, and it is blowing in some nasty cold. The weather guys are saying this is going to be the worst cold snap we have seen in 40 years! We couldn't wait any longer.

We moved some furniture in order to access the attic space. The small hole that we cut a few years back to run wires for surround sound, wasn't large enough for My Vet's broad shoulders. Uh Oh. You already know I have some DIY fears, crawling into an attic is another one of them.

As I became aware that it would be me going in, I felt my anxiety rising. Asthma, attic dust, and fiberglass particles isn't a good mix. I donned some safety gear, and took a deep breath.

I worked slowly with My Vet passing supplies through the small hole. I was careful not to jar any of the speaker wire, or step on any of the recessed lights. Initially we thought that the existing insulation would be pretty thin. What we found was, during the wire pulling and pushing up the lights, some of the insulation had been pushed up, leaving big holes for air to escape. Those were easy enough to fix. The only thin spot was a 4x8 section over our entry way. After adding insulation there, I had plenty left over, so we decided to roll it out and add another layer. It might not help any, but since we already had it, what could it hurt? Yes we are so energy inefficient, we are going way overboard in order to not miss anything.

Getting firewood stacked closer
to the house, to save time outside.
I also tackled a small project of replacing the weather strip around the french doors. I was able to see light at both the top and bottom of the doors. It didn't take much to patch those small areas. I just used some of the weather stripping My Vet had purchased for the ice house. Meanwhile My Vet and kids, hauled and stacked firewood closer to the house. We don't want to be outside any more than necessary for a few days.

Today's project probably won't have a significant impact on our energy bill. We still have a big project for the summer, but every little bit makes us feel a bit better.

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