Monday, January 6, 2014

Staying warm when it's colder than the South Pole


When the forecasted HIGH for the day is -11 and your thermometer reads -20 at 8 AM, you know it's gonna be a cold day. How cold? Colder than the South Pole, it turns out (a balmy -11). Cold winters are nothing new to the Midwest, but this is quite the extreme! To prepare for this arctic blast, we worked on buttoning up the house this weekend as best we could. 

When in doubt, put on more hats. 
I finished shrinkwrapping all our windows (a project I started in November) and stuffed insulation under our drafty dining room window seat. 

Nice shelving space, but it's uninsulated and juts out into open air, so it's pretty drafty!
Justin sealed up the frames of our outside doors and installed door sweeps; this made a big difference almost immediately! I knew those doors were drafty, but didn't realize how much. 

We then made major headway on insulating the attic (Look how far we've come!). Last spring, we installed insulation baffles and fiberglass batts. We had picked up foil-faced foam a while back and we wanted to wait to finish replacing the attic floor before we finished the walls. But we knew these would make a big difference in keeping the house warm, so Justin worked hard to get them all hung before the cold settled in.

Starting to install foil-faced foam 

Foam installation nearly complete. Welcome to our spaceship! 

With the foam in place, our unheated attic was comfortably warm yesterday. As was the rest of our house. I was even able to turn the thermostat down and have it stay toasty--so our efforts were a success!