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Donna's Journal
Winter Proofing Completed-December 2005

       With the increase in fuel bills promised we knew we are just affording the ones we had so there was no alternative but  to insulate the house even more.  And,  I'm so thankful Rodney is handy with whatever needs to be done.

    The north walls are always cold on this windy hill, even with the central heat. While speaking with the librarian at one of my book signing's,  I mentioned that I thought we would insulate the north side of the house by covering the brick with a siding made for that purpose..

    "Oh no! It isn't necessary to go to that expense,” she said.  All you need to do is put two-by-fours on the inside walls so that you have four more inches in which to stack insulation. The minute the insulation was up in the living room area a noticeable difference in the comfort of the room was felt. Still,  more warmth is present with the sheet rock over that. Overall we now have eight inches of insulation on the north wall.

    For the large windows on the north in our computer room Rodney cut a 4x8 sheet of polyfoam to their exact size. This neatly fits into each window. I cannot tell you how much warmer this room is now. The heavy drapes,  hide the foam and is okay with everyone involved. Next spring we will simply lift the foam out.  I will probably just store it behind this large computer desk so it will be handy for the next winter.

    There is a small heater that is electric but looks like a small steam heat furnace. It does not get hot to the touch. We have one in my daughters room for at night and it is not expensive to operate,  plus,  it works. Their cost is only 49.00. We are getting one of those for the central room where we live, for the one room, that is the kitchen and the living room. We will shut the bedrooms off during the day and turn the central heat down very low.  The bedrooms aren't used, anyway. I have a French Day bed in what is the living room for mother to use so she can recline on it when she is tired. The double insulation has been good for her, too. She remembers too well,  the awful singing of the prairie winds. The other day she said, “I can't even hear the wind now.” That statement made it all worth while.

    We have the small air-lock entry way on the north entrance. My family and friends know this is my winter entrance. This just keeps the blowing, cold draft out of the living room as people come into the house. When the house was built I asked the builders to set it at an angle which does help. I remember the front door to the ranch house was directly facing south. When any company came in that way,  it took strength to close the door after their entry.  If Rod and I had stayed there,  we planned to glass off the long front porch in order to break the wind. Now, when we leave over there I dutifully, tightly close the front door but when we return it is always full open again. I guess the prairie wind won on that issue.

    There is one other thing that has helped. Rodney glassed in the back porch which is on the south. The room heats up early from the sun shining through those windows. This warm room causes our kitchen to be warmer, also. In the summer he has a large draw fan to draw the hot air out. Even though that is semi-outdoors, it still is warm enough for my washing machine, the hot water tank and my plants. There are other things I want to do. One is to put those large metal drums filled with water and painted black in front of the windows so they can heat up during the day and throw off heat at night. In summer time we could just empty the water and roll them outside.

    Of course, there is heavy fabric over the windows. I bought a whole bolt for almost nothing. A flannel like fabric in a lovely blue-green color was cheap enough I doubled it.

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