Insulating Yourself from Mr. Winter

Ridgway (Colorado) Extension Release – December 27, 2014

The ancient Sumerians said it best: “It’s never to late to insulate!” Even though we are fully engaged surviving the winter of 2014 there are several more winter weeks ahead in 2015. In addition, the right insulation should help keep your home cooler in the summer, so, without further delay Let’s Get Insulated. Let’s insulate against mean old Mr. Winter.
The first thing to do is to determine which insulation is right for your structure and your lifestyle. There is batt insulation that comes in sections, blanker insulation that comes in rolls and lose-fill insulation that can be blown into ceilings, floors and walls.
Correctly choosing your insulation will help down the road with soundproofing efforts and can be an asset when placing electrical boxes and wires. Refractory materials are used to insulate against higher temperatures in such installations as incinerators and industrial furnaces. They may see temperatures up to 3200 degrees F, which is the temperature on a cloudy day in hell and is considered “damned hot” even to the macho, battle-hardened jacuzzi enthusiast. This is far too hot for the malt and hops routine or the three-minute egg.
Some people enjoy running around inside their homes while naked. While this is not a practice that we will be dissecting for moral purposes, it should be clear that these people would require more insulation than a family that wears coats to breakfast (at least around the windows and doors). Hot drinks and a few minutes at the firewood chopping block can be deterrents to the creeping chill getting the best of you. Take the cat for a walk! A brisk jog or fashion-conscious power walking gets the blood flowing.insulation #1
Hibernation, while not the healthiest of endeavors, can be an effective way to say “So long Mr. Winter! Stay in the house under a blanket, wear layers of clothing, trap air between inner and outer surfaces or buying storm windows works for most of the recluses around here.
Why do you think all those Arabs war loose-fitting robes out in the desert where it summer temps reach 125 degrees? They aren’t stupid. How many air conditioners does one observe strapped to the hump of a camel or hanging out of the doorway of a Bedouin tent? It’s the same concept employed whether one seeks to keep out hot or cold.
The rule of thumb for the Rockies is that outdoor weather may not be compatible with indoor comfort. If it’s cold in October or November close the damn sliding glass door, or at least make some lame attempt to cover it with a blanket or something. In summer one can reopen the door and achieve relative comfort depending on bugs and noise.
Just try to remember the Five Easy Steps to heat micromanagement: 1.) Cover 2.) Seal 3.) Stockpile 4.) Plan 5.) Clean. Be careful to apply each of these concepts in order so as not to frighten the livestock or even blow up the house.
Here is a further breakdown.
First: Thou shalt cover thy holes and drafts. Before applying insulation see to it that gaping holes and other problem flow regions are undressed. This is where the insulation goes. Drafts can be treacherous because one does not readily see them. Holes are a complete loss. Sometimes it might be easier to live outside under the insulation but please stay with us on this.
Second: One must seal. Using official insulation tape to thoroughly seal all cracks and openings around doors and windows. Skirting is essential around the bottoms of older trailers since cold penetrates through the floor. Many household items can be crammed into leaky spots on a temporary, stop-gap basis until you can get around to a serious remodel come spring. Dog hair, grass clippings, newspaper, old clothing all do the trick and while these items do not keep a domicile toasty they might keep the residents from getting wind burn or frostbite.
Third: Stockpile for a rainy day. Coal and wood are the priority here if you heat with wood. Wimps that use natural gas, electric or propane as primary heat sources should skip to part four. Yes, burning those silly pellets works but avoid car parts, children’s toys and cooking utensils since they have a higher combustion rate and not many BTUs. Fumes given off by these items (if they do light) can’t be good for respiration. Plus they are difficult to split. Just to be on the safe side Never Throw Anything Away! Everything that has been acquired is potential fuel or insulation.insulation #2
Fourth: A logical plan is the key. Don’t jump into insulation technology half-cocked. Draw up a blueprint. Ask the guys and gals don at the bar. Have another beer. There’s plenty of time to complete the task at hand.
Fifth: Cleanliness is everything! Vacuum and wash all firewood before bringing it into the house. Sweep the chimney for safety and function. Clear out all heat vents. Check propane flow. Wash your hands after asbestos exposure and watch your language in front of the neighbor dogs. Hose down last year’s visquine and reuse it next year.
If you have further questions call your local extension agent. He or she will be all too happy to send you a wad of gov’ment brochures that complicate the procedure and address you as if you were a moron. These will serve well as kindling on a cold morning or make a fine balanced addition to accenting your spring dump load. – Uncle Pahgre

Filed Under: Fractured Opinion


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