Today while the little one was napping I decided to “conquer a nagging task”*… or a task that could have easily become a nagging task. I weatherized our windows!
Last fall we spent a good bit of $ on some renovation projects aimed at making our home more energy efficient and healthy. One of the comments from our energy auditor was, “Your windows aren’t good, but they’re the least of your problems.” Great! What a place to start…
We invested in a brand-spanking new and top-of-the-line energy-efficient boiler (replacing our ancient, carbon-monoxide leaking, gas-guzzling one). We got a new roof (turns out letting moisture into your home makes any other updates you do moot… who cares about nice furnishings if you’re letting water destroy the bones of the home?). We had new insulation put in the crawl space in the basement and in the attic. We got a new fan for our bathroom and for our stove. We re-graded the side of our house to keep rainwater moving away from the foundation.
Since those projects more than exhausted our available resources, we couldn’t even think about new windows (although we’ve started to dream about how nice those would be!). The good news is that we did save a hefty sum on our gas bill last winter (in one of the months, the average temperature was about equivalent, we kept the house almost 10 degrees warmer, and we spent $100 less on heating)…. and that’s on top of no longer having dangerous gases leaking in our home. Yay air quality!
The other good news is there are literal “bandaids” that help our drafty windows — those lovely plastic film window kits (like these). I don’t love the process of putting them up — cleaning the window frame, adhering the tape, lining up the plastic, using the hair dryer to shrink the film (okay maybe I like that part), and trimming the excess film (which, by the way, can be recycled alongside your grocery bags and plastic paper towel wrappers at local drop-offs). But the difference is huge — and totally worth it for our heating bills and for the environment.
*This is a reference to Gretchen Rubin’s book the Happiness Project.