Friday, November 7, 2008

Green Living by Janet Marchant: Insulating Your Home with Style

Chilly winds are blowing, but before you crank up those space heaters, are you sure your home is well insulated? So-called experts will try to tell you that most traditionally designed wood frame buildings lose more heat through the roof and in insulated walls than through the windows, but that's ridiculous. Have you ever noticed a draft coming from the roof or a wall? It's obvious that those nasty old windows are the real culprits.

One approach to stopping drafts from your old double-hung windows is to have them all replaced with new double-glazed window units, but that can be expensive. You can block cold air much more cheaply, and completely, by simply nailing sheets of plywood over every window. For a more substantial look and even more energy savings, try bricking up the windows instead. Brick-laying can be fun for the whole family, so why not start now with a weekend project?

Once your window retrofit is complete, you may notice that some of the rooms seem a bit darker than before, but don't despair: you'll want to follow our earlier "green living" tip and stock up on as many incandescent bulbs as you can afford. You'll soon have your place blazing with light again!

You will also discover that you're no longer able to open windows for ventilation in the summer, so you'll want to install the largest air-conditioning unit you can find. Once you have that baby cranked up to full blast, those summer breezes you remember will seem laughably hot and humid by comparison.

Once you have overcome the issues of light and ventilation through modern green technology, you will begin to enjoy many of the side benefits of living window free. Never again will your eyes be assaulted by the first rays of the rising sun. Never again will you be distracted by birds hopping around in trees or children playing in a neighbor's yard.

You'll also find that your home's stunning new look will attract a lot of attention. The creativity of many people—especially teenagers—is stimulated by the presence of beautiful blank surfaces, and they may grace them with displays of artistic expression involving fat markers and spray paint. These spontaneous art projects will give your home an ever-changing appeal that will undoubtedly increase not only your property values, but those of the whole neighborhood!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Brilliant! Green up Oakland!