Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Old Man Winter is Here to Stay

I do believe winter is here to stay! I am not looking forward to it, but we live where we live and we have to deal with it. I know I will whine and complain about it, but will make it through just as I have any other year. I don't completely hate winter; the best thing about it is there aren't any BUGS! The other advantage is I get more done inside; during the summer I spend very little time inside so only the basics get done. Winter is a time for me to crochet, quilt and scrapbook.

In addition to my crafts, this winter will also be spent working on book number three: Cleaning, Storage and Decorating (date of publication TBA). I have learned a few tricks over the years and will be sharing what I know. Not everyone has unlimited space, so finding storage solutions that look nice can sometimes be a challenge. There are many organizers, storage totes and shelving available on the market but some come with a hefty price tag. My goal is to offer practical solutions for the lowest cost possible.

In our climate, the cold settles into the walls and floors of our homes. For those that live in homes built before the invention of pink insulation, chances are there is no longer insulation from top to bottom. As the years go on, the insulation used in the 40's and 50's (and earlier) has settled and no longer offers a barrier between the walls. For those who renovate the older homes, the foam insulation is placed on the exterior walls then covered with siding. Doing it this way eliminates disturbing the insulation inside the walls, and makes for a more cost efficient renovation.

Upgrading the windows is also a good idea, but can get costly as well. A few years ago I had inquired about having windows replaced in a home I was living in. I had mentioned to the contractor I wanted bigger windows put in, and he told me in the older homes they preferred to install inserts into existing frames. The reason for this was because once they start cutting they may find, or cause, more structural damage. The end result for me was the windows did not get replaced as the house was a rental and the owners did not want to invest that much money into it. I did learn something from talking to the contractor, and that in itself was a good thing.

If renovating your home is not an option, there are steps you can take to make it warmer in winter. On October 28 I explained how to install the plastic film on interior windows to help winterize, as well as how to check for drafts. To give you an idea of how cool an interior wall can be, we have a digital thermometer on a North wall in our kitchen. This morning the outside temperature was -15C and the wall temperature was 15C while the rest of the house is at about 20C. That is a big difference in my world. That coolness will permeate into the rest of the home, thus increasing the need to turn up the heat. Something as simple as displaying quilts on the walls will help insulate against the cold. (I can think of many who would be rolling their eyes at this point, but believe me it works.)

It is time for me to suck it up and go out to do the chores; our animals await. Then it is off to my sister's to babysit my nephews for the day.

Have a great day!


p.s. Have you done what you can to winterize your home to keep out Old Man Winter?

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