Thursday, December 20, 2007

Stating The Obvious

I'm going to sound like an idiot when I say this. I guess it should have been obvious.

Last summer I replaced an ill fitting drip edge on a front door overhang that led into the unfinished portion of my attic with a custom drip edge. I also tore out two old, aluminum triple track storm windows on the front of my house and replaced them with vintage style, wood frame storms. I completed these projects because, more than anything, they were unbearably ugly and I wanted to make them pretty.

However, the weatherproofing effect of these two relatively small changes has been astounding. I'm pretty hip to weatherproofing a house and have had multiple energy audits done......and spent many an hour on weatherproofing projects. That said, the dramatic change this year has taken me completely by surprise.

The wood storms have eliminated the cold spots that used to waft from my front windows and over my sofa into my living room. Even more dramatic is the change to my upper level. The cold air was entering through exterior gaps in the drip edge and invading both my attic and the space between the living room plaster ceiling and the attic floor. Last year the difference in temperature between my lower & upper level was about 10 degrees. I had an oil filled heater up there to use on really cold nights. This year the difference has been 1 degrees. Yes, one measly degree.

I can only imagine how the house will change as I continue to replace the triple track storms. Pretty and useful. Who knew?

4 comments:

Josh @ Bungalow '23 said...

It doesn't sound all that obvious to me. Your upgrades have been great aesthetically, but I would not have expected such dramatic improvement in comfort and energy efficiency from those relatively small changes. Maybe someday I can get rid of the space heaters in my upper floor bedrooms, too.

StuccoHouse said...

Josh - Lol...well, it wasn't so obvious to me either. But, when I started to write this post...about how storm windows actually kept out the cold air.....it sounded a bit "well, duh." :-)

jm_houseinprogress said...

I think it is brilliant :) Metal (aluminum) conducts heat and cold. So, great at blocking some of the drafts. Not so great at also insulating. But wood doesn't conduct heat or cold. So, it blocks the drafts AND it insulates. Hurray!

And it is shocking how much a point of entry from the outside between floors can change the temperature of a whole room or floor. Right now, cold air gets in under our backsteps through a gap in the stucco that was made before we moved in. And it drops the temperature in the kitchen significantly because the cold air rushes in through another gap between the ends of the floorboards and the wall where there is no quarter round. It's only a tiny gap...maybe a quarter of an inch. But it lets in a ridiculous amount of cold air.

I really need to add that to my list of small fixes.

Derek said...

We have about a 10 degree f difference between downstairs and upstairs, I think ours is because we lack air returns for the forced air heat. And we're in a much more moderate climate. I can't wait to see the difference new wood double glazed windows will make. We currently have aluminum replacement windows.

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