17 August 2011
As promised, we are back to normal this week. Work has been going along pretty well and nothing much to report there. At home I have been working hard over the last weekend and in the evenings to improve our home as far as energy usage is concerned.
Claire got a bit of a bee in her bonnet about it and started hassling me at the end of last winter. She pointed out that the bedrooms were always freezing and that there is a definite breeze coming from our front door. Add to that the fact that our double glazing has seen better days and it was becoming clear that something needed to be done.
In the last few weeks there has also been so much talk about the increases in energy prices and Claire has pointed out to me that our gas bills are likely to rise by 50% this year as we have just come off a fixed deal and can't get another one as good. All the talk of money was enough for me to pull my finger out and do something about it.
So we started with the obvious and put in loads of insulation in the loft. The recommended level is 270mm apparently and we got about that much in most places. What a hassle though. I had no idea how much junk we have up in our loft. I spent more time shifting stuff around than it took for me to lay it down – that was the easy part. I knew there was reason I had been putting it off. Oh, and lofts are like saunas on a warm Sunday afternoon...
I have also invested in a new front door. They are much more expensive than I had imagined. We spent a few hundred quid! I wonder how much someone would have charged to fit it if I couldn't have done it? I bought a heavy wooden door rather than one of these double glazed units. I just feel better having the solidity of wood – call me old fashioned. It took me a while to make it fit snugly though.
We can't afford to replace our windows right now, but I certainly made sure the old ones were airtight. I used sealant around the frame edges where I could and when the winter comes we might use some of the secondary glazing film to keep the worst of the cold out.
I went a bit mad with my sealant gun and the expanding foam as well. I was hunting down nooks and crannies all evening on Monday. I believe this house would now be watertight if it wasn't for the chimney!
So we will see what the winter will bring and if we can turn down the thermostat. I am no greeny, but if it will save me money I am all for it. It is amazing what you can do with a minimal outlay. We probably spent about £100 all together (not including the door...) and should have a nice warm house come winter.
I have one more week left at my current job and then we are off on our holiday. Can't wait – but chances are I will still get itchy feet after the first few days...
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