What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Doors, Windows & Jack Frost

Jack Frost
on back storm door

When I was little, I used to marvel at the beauty Jack Frost painted on my bedroom window. As the sun broke the darkness of the night, my window would take on a twinkling, magical appearance.

Then I grew up and while I still marvel at the beauty, it has a whole different meaning. Now when Jack Frost paints windows or storm doors it means we are losing valuable energy. That translates into lost energy dollars. We are lucky that the previous owner had the presence of mind to replace most of the windows with energy efficient windows even though he paid little attention to insulation. However, the two 6' x 8' picture windows are still energy losers simply because of their size. They don't frost up so that's a good sign. The front door is a antique, solid wood door with beautiful brass handles. I'd like to keep it for the character of the house. It isn't leaking much air if any. This spring we will be replacing the weather stripping and the storm door. At best the storm door is leaky and even though there isn't a problem with frosting, it is better to prevent a problem from happening. The back door is right beside the furnance. It is a hollow core wood door with a single pane window, not well weather stripped and definitely leaking air. Unfortunately we do not feel this door is worth saving so we will be replacing it this spring with an energy efficient door.

Whenever you see Jack Frost's handiwork on any window or door in your house, take a minute to marvel at the beauty. Then take action! The immediate remedy is to seal around the trim of windows then put up shrink plastic window covering. That will get you through to the nicer weather where you can take the window apart and fix it properly. The quick solution for doors is to hang a quilt or heavy blanket and this is the most common solution floating around on the net. However, I'm not really fond of this idea because I think it creates not only a fire hazard but also creates a barrier in the event you do have to evacuate the house. Another solution that is effective for drafts coming from the bottom of the door is draft stoppers. These are quick and inexpensive to make and they don't impede evacuation if necessary. Simply sew a tube a little longer than your door. Sew one end then turn. Pour in rice or sand until firm then sew up the open end. Place at the bottom of the door. If you really want to save money, use the legs of old jeans. You can even be creative and turn them into little snake critters complete with eyes and trimming. At any rate, they are effective.

Garden Gnome
© 2007