Getting Ready for Winter with New Friends: Furnace and Storm Windows

Hello all!  Last post, I mentioned that fall was coming and it’s getting colder (among other things)–so that means that CF and I are now considering weatherizing Lot 26.

When we first moved into our new home, we pulled a lot of ugly looking Visqueen from the windows on the outside of the trailer.  It had been nailed to the trailer under small pieces of wood and it just looked tacky.  It may have kept the inside of the trailer warmer, but we moved in when it was still warm out and we wanted to open the windows.

I don’t regret taking down the Visqueen (seriously, I know it’s practical, but it just looked awful)–but we do need to think of other ways to keep warm this winter.

Step1.) Check to see if Furnace works.

I’ll have you know that Furnace is a true friend.  Furnace works much better than Water Heater did.  CF and I really like Furnace, though we don’t let it heat the place up above 66 degrees. We’re trying to save money.  I don’t know why 66 degrees is the magic number, but it is. I am usually a very cold person, but as long as I wear slippers and a couple of layers, I can function in this amount of chill.

Step 2.) Put up Storm Windows.

(A sidenote: storm windows for a trailer are not like storm windows for a house.  For a house, one would usually put the storm windows on the outside of the house–at least that’s how it was in my childhood home.  In a trailer, the storm windows–our at least ours–go up on the inside of the trailer.  They sit in the frame of the window and seal it off, much like those plastic sheets you can buy at the store….the ones that you use a blow dryer or something to seal?)

So, upon moving in, CF and I saw a bunch of extra windows hidden away in the guest room closet.  After further inspection (and painting around the annoying window holders on ALL of the window trim) we realized that these were Storm Windows, specially fitted for our trailer.  So when it started getting close to freezing temperatures at night, we decided to wake Storm Windows from their summer hibernation and put them to work.

Unfortunately, they put us to work!  Storm Windows were filthy, for one.  They needed a serious bath.  Also, Storm Windows hadn’t been stored properly, so we needed to be careful not to break any as we extracted them from the closet.  But then we realized that Storm Windows has already lost a couple from their ranks.  They were two down, which meant we had to choose which two windows in the trailer to sacrifice to the cold of winter.

We have several windows in our trailer.  Two in the kitchen and each bedroom, and three in the living room.  Another tiny one lives in the bathroom. If we’re only counting full-size windows, we’ve got nine!  We thought for a while about which room could stand to be a little colder.  In the end, we decided that the kitchen would have to take the hit.  After all, I do cook and bake a lot, so the kitchen is often the warmest room in the trailer, even without the help of Storm Windows.  Also, Burning Bush lives outside the kitchen windows, so that might provide some wind resistance as well.

Having made our decision, and having cleaned Storm Windows, it was time to put them up.  This also proved difficult because some of the wood trim around the trailer windows had warped over the years–so there may have been some fists and some pounding…but we made it work!  Ok, mostly CF made it work.  What can I say?  He’s got stronger fists than me 🙂

We have definitely noticed that the trailer retains heat better with the help of Storm Windows.

Step 3.) Seal up the cracks.

One of my dear friends and colleagues bought me some goopy stuff called Wind Jammer.  When it comes out of the pressure can it looks sort of like what comes out of a hot glue gun–but it’s not hot.  Anyway, CF went to town with the Wind Jammer and filled in some of the cracks around the window trim so Storm Windows could do their job more effectively.

Step 4.) Finally invest in curtains.

This is the step we haven’t actually done yet.  We have blinds on most of the windows in the trailer (except 2 in the living room), but I think that curtains (especially thick ones, or even thermal ones?) would also reduce the amount of cold winter wind getting in through the windows.

I tried shopping for some fancy thermal curtains, but I don’t think I’m looking in the right places, ’cause I haven’t found what I’m looking for yet.  I’ve also considered buying some thick material and making curtains myself–but I don’t know how that will work out since I don’t actually own a sewing machine.

So really, dear readers, I’m up for suggestions on this one.  Has anybody found some awesome thick curtains at a store somewhere?  Any tips on making our own?

In the meantime, I’ll just keep putting on layers and my ridiculously ugly (but warm!) slippers when I’m home.  And I’ll keep writing to you, dear readers, about our adventures (and our neighbor who likes to play his electric guitar at 8am).

Until then, may all your homes be happy, may all your Furnaces be friendly, and may you all be warm this winter!

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About Cathy G Gilbert

I am veggie-loving, community college professor who lives, teaches, and writes in Central IL.
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One Response to Getting Ready for Winter with New Friends: Furnace and Storm Windows

  1. Pingback: A Series of Failures: Furnace | The Stigma of Lot 26

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