I've been reading about insulated window coverings. Exciting, I know. But I got interested in the idea after reading a book called Green Wizardry just as we had several cold nights. Our bathroom, which is on the north side, is the coldest part of this old house. If you remember, this was the room that was added on to the house, with the very low ceilings, four really old windows, and a very short ill fitting door to the backyard. We tiled the floor, which makes the cold seem even more intense if I don't have my shoes on. According to the book, a single pane window has a an R-value of one, and a double pane window is only a two. To have four large single pane drafty windows in a small room on the coldest side of the house, makes for a chilly space. Especially since the old door to the outside in this room is thin and leaky. Covering the windows and the door seems like an easy way to save some energy. And, it gives me a sewing project!
Before I begin sewing though, I've been experimenting with different materials I have on hand, and I've found that plastic table clothes, with the fuzzy backside, of which I have several, work pretty good to block the cold. I've fastened them in place with wires and clothes pins for my trial runs, but I've read that velcro is a good way to make them seal to the windows without gaps.
Currently, the bathroom is hosting a cage with five messy guinea keets. It's handy to be able to dump their dirty woodchips in the composting toilet, and to be able to rinse out their water tray in the shower, but their presence has motivated us to begin construction on a sturdy brooder that can shelter baby birds in the barn. Since this is the second winter I've found myself with unplanned birds who need to stay warm and safe, I think a brooder is an excellent idea for the future. Because this room is home to a chest freezer, washing machine, wooden dresser (our future bathroom sink vanity, if all goes as planned), a homemade composting potty, a cage of guinea's, a door to the outside, a shower stall, hot water heater, and currently has folded mis-matched plastic table cloth's over the windows, it's a weird room.
And a chilly room. The electric wall heater we installed can heat this small space up in a jiffy though, which is great for taking a shower. Now that I've started messing around with window and door coverings, I think we may be able to change our chilly north side into a toasty warm space, without wasting too much energy.
I know I told you about how hard it is to catch a frightful guinea keet since they can fly like birds and seem to be terrified of everything. Thankfully, I figured out a way to clean their cage that doesn't cause us much stress, although it's not as exciting for the cats. The keets are stupid in the dark. If I cover the cage with a cloth, and turn out their light, I can reach in and capture them pretty easily. I place them in a box with a towel over the top, clean their cage, and then reach blind into the dark box and feel for them to put them back. They don't even resist.
I'm writing this today from my hotel room in North Carolina. It's raining buckets outside my window right now, so we're taking our time getting started with the days field work. Other than my normal complaints about spending so much time cramped up in the truck with my coworkers and all our gear, and eating out for every meal, this job isn't bad. At least our work is during the daylight hours, and our hotel has WiFi. It's funny though, that looking at these pictures of our odd bathroom and those weird guinea's and silly cats makes me homesick. I didn't know I could miss our weird cold room.