Insulation v's ventilation
The household energy efficiency watchword is insulation insulation insulation. This is all well and good but if you block all of the drafts and insulate everything then the air stops flowing and your house gets nasty and fusty. I am currently stuck in a horrible conundrum in my - rather chilly - bedroom between shutting the window to keep it warmer or leaving it open so that there is some fresh air in the room. I really don't understand how you are supposed to reconcile these two things. If anyone has any suggestions I would love to hear them.
As we live in a rented house with no double glazing we decided to give the DIY secondary glazing a go. So we bought the plastic stuff from thorns and after several attempts we managed to correctly decipher the instructions. However, it turns out the tape they provide to stick the plastic to the window frames is not actually that sticky when it is being put on old wooden window frames. We have now purchased some ordinary double sided tape that works much better, but we can't help but feel that the DIY kit was designed for lovely shiny new plastic framed windows, but they are probably going to be double glazed already! So who knows what the manufacturers were thinking - they probably weren't.
But we have got past that hurdle and now are windows are beautifully shrink wrapped. Unfortunately they keep getting wrinkly though, so we have to keep reheating it. So over all not a resounding success so far but we shall see how it progresses.
How are you supposed to dry your clothes in the winter without making your house damp? Line drying clothes in the summer is great, but come the winter they take a lot longer to dry and intervals between rain showers get a lot smaller. So I often resort to drying clothes inside, but as the house is now so well draught proofed and not keep particularly warm this doesn't add to the general atmosphere of the house - cold and damp are not a friendly combination. But what are the other alternatives? I have tried drying clothes in the conservatory, but they never really get completely dry out there, so I am a bit stumped. We are going to have to find a practical solution to this problem though as it is one that we are all going to have to tackle in the future.
So in practice the green advice is not actually always that easy to follow or has not actually been practically tested. So I suppose that is why we are here! We are the pioneers who are trying all of this out, so we can tell everyone else how they can dry their clothes with zero energy in the winter and have a well insulated house with lots of fresh air....
Photos: Our secondary glazed windows - note all the wrinkles that have appeared - boo and Radiator foil.