Sunday, July 27, 2008

Extra Insulation For The Poor

Extreme circumstances call for extreme measures.

If you are not happy with your single pane windows, but don't have enough money to replace them with something better, and willing to live with the ugliness of a temporary solution (in these times of failing employment and skyrocketing prices of everything this may be quite acceptable), here's a way to deal with it:

Install a sheet of expanded polystyrene into the window.

They come in different sizes, the most convenient would be 2'x4' (or 4'x8' if you have a truck).

4x8 2" thick costs (at the moment of writing at my location) about $23. 2x4 costs less than $6.

2" thick sheet is R-7.8 (for comparison, a single pane window is R-1, triple pane window is R-3).

Thinner sheets cost less, but have significantly lower R value, so you be the judge of what you need.

These sheets are not completely opaque - they let just about the same amount of light as a heavy curtain, with the added benefit of preserving the spectrum (with a slight blue hue because of blue lettering on them).

A nice tool to cut these sheets with, should that be necessary, is a Japanese (pull style) double blade saw such as Vaughan Bear - it's a complete topic in itself, you'll love using this tool, much more exact and rewarding than a comparable size push saw.

Installing these makes a hell of a difference.

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