Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Repurposing for Winter

Today it is cold here. Very, very cold. We are in the middle of a cold snap the likes of which I don't think we've had since I was a 10 year old kid. As you can see by the picture of our thermometer there, it was so cold this morning that the thermometer gave up trying to measure the outside temperature! On my way to work my car thermometer said it was -45 C! This is just crazy cold! It was so cold that my clutch pedal was really unhappy when I asked it to help me change gears -- it would work in slow motion only. When I got into the city, where it was a balmy -38 C, both the clutch and I were a bit happier.

It is chilly at home too. We're trying not to turn the furnace up over 18 C and we have been keeping the woodstove going all day long, but it is still chilly. We have a lot of north facing windows in our house, which is nice in the summer but not as nice in the winter. When I walk down the stairwell to go to the woodstove in the basement, I can really feel the chill coming down off of them. The windows all have blinds on them, which can be closed to provide a bit of defense against losing all that heat out of the windows. There is a north-facing 'back door' as well though, which doesn't have any blinds on it. I've had visions of making a nice window quilt for it, but that hasn't happened yet. But in the spirit of Chile's repurposing challenge, I thought, why not try a window sheet?

So I wedged a spare sheet around the door trim and tucked it in at the bottom, and it makes quite a difference! Not as much as an thicker window quilt would, but it is definitely less drafty there now. This is just a temporary re-purposing, since I will still use the sheet as a sheet again, but it gets this job done too!

When it is this cold, I am reminded how lucky I am to be able to afford a warm and comfortable house to live in.


Simply Authentic said...

dang that IS cold! a friend of mine goes to the U of Alberta and he'd said it was cold but I didn't realize just HOW cold! hope you can keep warm! glad the sheet is helping some!

Theresa said...

It's the coldest temperature I can remember experiencing! Today it is a balmy -28 C ;)

Chile said...

Waaaay to cold for my thin desert blood! Great idea on the sheet. I'm going to go try that with the back door that's always freezing.

Theresa said...

It works surprisingly well for just a folded over sheet!

DC said...

Wow, that is really, really cold. I guess I no longer have any room to complain when it drops just 10 or 20 degrees below freezing.

In addition to using sheets, you can make or buy window quilts -- or you can just hang up regular quilts over windows, of course. I read somewhere that this increases the R-value of a normal single pane window from one to four. We have argon filled double pane windows with low-e coatings that have an R-value of about seven. It's amazing that just adding a quilt to a regular single pane window will make them over half that efficient -- at a fraction of the cost.