Monday, August 15, 2011

Weatherizing 2011

Hey there! Sorry for the silence last week but things have been really busy for me at work and at home especially with little miss Lulu. Speaking of the pup, she turned 3 months old on Friday so we are now in the "terrible two's" phase according to the puppy books. So far, the little miss has been pretty good. She likes to bite a lot but isn't much of a chewer per se. We are trying to teach her biting is only for her toys but she isn't quite getting it yet. I have high hopes though considering she was so quick to learn sit, stay, and lay down. Not to mention we have been pretty much accident free in terms of peeing/pooping in the house for the last week (yay!). In terms of other "firsts" this week Lulu got her first bath (which she did not like at all) and we also made our first trip to the park on Sunday morning. We had a nice long walk and Lulu loved meeting new people and making friends with other dogs. She was so tired when we got home that she slept the rest of the afternoon.

She's getting so big!

But enough about the dog. I know you all are dying to hear about weatherizing (I mean that is the reason you clicked on this post, right?).

Unless you live on the west coast I think everyone can agree that this summer has been H-O-T hot! Since moving into my little house I've been curious about how terrible my bills were going to be during the summer and winter months. Since my house is older construction I wasn't expecting much in terms of the house being well insulated but was still taken aback when I got my last power bill and it read $213 (this for my 1100 sqaure foot, 2 bedroom house)!! Yikes.

I immediately started trying to figure out how why it was so high. The bill for the previous month was $160 (high, but not ridiculous) and it didn't seem to me that the temperatures for the current month were that much different than the last month. I have a programmable thermostat that never changes (78 during the day, 76 at night) so I figured my bills would stay somewhat the same. Since I was obviously very wrong about this I decided that I needed to figure out a way to not have a repeat $200 bill and the most obvious solution was to try my hand at weatherizing the windows and doors.

After reading some tips on the interwebs, Erik and I headed off to Lowe's to pick up some weather stripping materials to seal the front and back door as well as the windows in the front and back of the house. We got several different kinds of stripping because we really had no idea what would work best and we knew for certain that the doors had different frames which would require different styles of stripping. For example, in the back door we were able to use a V-shaped rubber strip just popped right in the frame. However, the front door was a little tougher since it didn't have an inset in the framing that would accomodate the V-shaped stripping.

Easy pop-in V-shaped stripping in the back door
The first type of stripping we tried in the front door was vinyl and had to be nailed into the frame. But before we attempted to put a million little nails in the door frame, we tested the stripping by only nailing a few nails at the sides and the top of the frame. I'm very glad we did this because when we tried to close the door, we found it would not shut (the rubber stripping had made the door too "big" for the frame). We tried various methods of cutting the stripping to help the door close but we eventually had to give up on this type of weather strip. Luckily we had purchased a third kind of weather stripping to use on the windows--a kind of foamy strip that has a sticky back. Theoretically all you are supposed to have to do is peel the backing off and stick to your door frame, however we found that the stickiness was just not powerful enough and every time we tried to press it on the door it would peel right off. We tried cleaning the door frame really well thinking this might help the adhesion but no luck. We ended up having to nail it in which (thank god) worked pretty well.

Vinyl Stripping was definitely a no-go on the front door

Adhesive weather stripping

The final solution on the front door
By the time we were finished with the front door I was done weather stripping for the day (yes, I can be a bit ADD when it comes to home improvement projects) so the windows have been put on hold until we get around to it. So far I have been able to tell a big difference in the way the doors close and seal so I'm hoping this registers into some saved money in next month's power bill. We'll see. All I know is that I cannot wait until the fall weather arrives. I don't know about anyone else but I am officially done with 104 degree weather. Bring on the pumpkins, falling leaves, and apple cider! I can't wait!

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