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October 22, 2010

MCM Home Improvement: Gee, It’s Cold In Here!

By Sablemable aka Jan

If you’re living in an area where soon the winter winds and snow will blow, then you’ll know what I’m talking about when I say it’s cold inside my house!  Well, Jan, you reply, turn on the heat!  Easier said than done, gang.  Oh, yeah, the furnace works and is about 83% energy efficient, but I’ve discovered that my 1955 ranch is poorly insulated.

One area that plaques it is that vertical window at the entrance.  Remember this from my Brick-It post a while back?

And here’s the other side of that window, in the coat closet.  The cold air just creeps in.  Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!

Well, we never got around to enclosing that section and we’ll have to wait until next spring.  Double brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!

Then there’s the kitchen window, above the sink.  Inside…….

and outside……


I had mistakenly classified this window as casement windows when they are actually awning windows.  Somebody had also painted them shut on the inside and removed the screens.  Bad former owner(s)!  Again, cold air is coming in from these windows, somehow breezing through the paint.

No extra insulation has ever been added to the attic, ceiling and walls, but Bob did purchase batting for the attic and he and our neighbor, Andy (nice neighbor!) will be laying them down this weekend.  That will help greatly!

Bob wants to replace the kitchen awning windows with just a plain window, but I still would like the awning windows, energy efficient this time around.  Also, some of the window panes will have to be replaced as they are the original single panes.  Bob and Andy will do that next year.

Got any ideas, readers for the kitchen window?

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13 Responses to MCM Home Improvement: Gee, It’s Cold In Here!

  1. Missouri Michael Reply

    October 22, 2010 at 10:57 am

    A couple of years ago, I had the same problems with my house. I had blow-in insulation put in the attic (to an R39 value) and replaced all of the original windows in the house with new windows which I had customized to replicate the original windows. My first winter, I used 33% less natural gas and the house no longer felt cold all of the time. My only suggestion is to do a lot of research on windows and get what you really want. I decided against vinyl, so I save up my pennies a little longer and had fiberglass installed. I would choose the same windows again in a heartbeat. Good luck!

  2. Eartha Kitsch Reply

    October 22, 2010 at 11:54 am

    I wish that I had some good advice. Our entire house is those awning windows. They are great in the Spring time but my gosh, in the Winter! All that I can recommend are thick drapes. 🙂

  3. crash pad girl Reply

    October 22, 2010 at 11:55 am

    Great post,this is the story of my life. As I write this from under a blanket in my hooded sweatshirt,on the couch I recommend plastic on the windows. The kind that you use a hairdryer with. It really works wonders. When done correctly it hard to detect and not that ugly. Good luck & stay warm.

  4. sablemable Reply

    October 22, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    Missouri Michael! Yes, I agree with the get-what-you-want idea, as who wants to be unhappy over their choice of windows? We want to blow-in insulation next year; our 1958 ranch was heavily insulated about 28 years ago and with a new furnace, you can keep the thermostat down to about 65-66 degrees and not freeze to death.

    Earthaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!! Thick drapes I have for the picture window! I adore awning windows!

    Crash Pad Girl!! LOL@ plastic, aka Alabama Storm Windows (no offense to Alabamans, as I love the state/people). Yep, we’re putting it on the kitchen window, but I hate having it on; kind of makes the view to the exterior look blurry. Please stay cuddly warm!

  5. Andrea Reply

    October 22, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    I second Crash Pad Girl’s recommendation of the shrink plastic. As unattractive it is, it makes a huge difference. Hanging a heavy curtain or drape can help too, but I don’t imagine you want to do that in your kitchen!

  6. Annie B. Reply

    October 22, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    I second the shrink plastic idea. We have single pane windows and very little insulation in our house. It made a difference last year.

  7. Jamie in Hollywood Reply

    October 23, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    Many mail order companies like Harriet Carter sell “door stoppers,” long, sock-like things that trap cold air and water and don’t let it circulate underneath the door. I’m buying one for my sister in Connecticut. I’m getting hers from Harriet Carter and it costs less than ten dollars. It may be worth it for this winter. Couldn’t hurt! I’m sure you can find them on-line from many companies. I’ve even seen them advertised on television. The window is cool, though and very fifties! I have been looking into installing a door with similar glass and am amazed at how much they cost! May all of you in cold climes have a mild winter.

  8. jane Reply

    October 24, 2010 at 12:57 am

    I definitely would use plastic on that window in the closet. Or if you don’t care some warm insulated fabric. also rolled up fabric placed on the windowsill can keep some drafts out. And insulation is why women invented drapes, curtains etc. There are clip on hooks that you could use warm thick fabric in winter and put up sheer cool fabric in summer, or just a valance. If you do not want to do that , wear a lot of sweaters and leggings.

  9. sablemable Reply

    October 25, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Andrea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Andrea, did you give birth yet?
    AnnieBBBBBBBBBBBBBBB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Where have you been? Missed you!
    Jamie In Hollywood!!!!!!!
    Jane!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL on the sweaters/leggings!!!!!

    Yes, the plastic IS going up very shortly, but wouldn’t you know it, we’ve been having warmth and sunshine since last week, LOL!

    Personally, I wear shorts all year round, even going out to the mailbox in the dead of winter, but, I always wear my hat, gloves, boots and a good ol’ heavy sweatshirt! You “older” ladies will understand why the shorts in the middle of winter, wink-wink.

    Thanks, Jamie for the mild winter wishes!

  10. Andrea Reply

    October 25, 2010 at 1:29 pm


    Yes, I did, on October 4th. I had a little girl 🙂

  11. Annie B. Reply

    October 25, 2010 at 3:04 pm


    Love the description of your winter attire! Oh, yeah….do I EVER understand why you would wear shorts in the middle of winter!

  12. Ginger Reply

    October 25, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    I have been told if you purchase blow in insulation from lowe’s you can rent the machine to install it for practically nothing. My 1942 army corps home has no insulation in the walls and old insulation plus an old furnace in the attic. My husband and I plan to put in new insulation and new windows within the next year. On another note, our water heater is outdoors and we plan to buy a thermal wrap blanket for it. It doesn’t get nearly as cold here in Mississippi but you ladies have my sympathy!

  13. sablemable Reply

    October 25, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    Andreaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!! Mazel tov on your baby girl! She was born on my late father’s birthday! What a blessing!

    Annieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!! Windows up, windows down, LOL!

    Ginger! No, I didn’t know that about renting the machine from Lowe’s, so thank you! We are definately going to blow more insulation in next spring. Your summers, I understand, can be unbearable and I don’t do heat well.

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