Sunday, January 20, 2013

Forecast: Insulation with a chance of other tasks

Fortunately other projects come up while you're insulating. You get to a bay and realize that something else needs to happen before you can put a batt there. This is great because although insulation is necessary and I'm finding it strangely satisfying to install, it does get boring and repetitive. 

We do not have a direct heat source on the second floor. We're depending on heat making its way up from the first floor (we do this in our current house too and it works surprisingly well). We have a huge stairwell opening and we decided to add a couple heat vents to help circulate the air. We'll have the ability to add duct fans in the future if needed. We'll also have ceiling fans upstairs to help draw the air upward. 

One went into the bathroom floor and is positioned almost directly over the wood stove. There is so much air moving through this vent that the lint fuzzies shimmy and shake (it's been in storage and I haven't had a chance to clean it yet; don't judge). 

Bathroom vent
The bedroom vent is actually over the kitchen so it doesn't get as much air circulation. No fuzzie movement. As I like the bedroom to be cold for sleeping, this may work best for us anyway.

Bedroom vent
I picked up the vents at the Round Lake Antique fair last year and love them! The slats work and the filigree is wonderful. I've got two more vents that will be mounted in the ceiling downstairs to finish the look. Those aren't as ornate so I chose them for the ceiling where they won't be quite as visible.
Close up!
We also needed to figure out the frame and duct work for the range hood. I've always wanted one of these and finally have one. No more setting off smoke detectors when grilling steak on my panini! (Didn't we just talk about judging?).

Instructions said we could have a gap between 24 and 36 inches between cooktop and fan. We very carefully and scientifically measured (marked max and min on the wall and then I stood there and we went up a few inches so I wouldn't bonk my head when cooking) and then Hubbie added bracing. Gotta buy a length of ductwork, cut a hole in the wall (sob) and I'll be able to insulate that bay too.

Checking height
By the end of the day we'd finished one half of the downstairs. Awesome. We're also making inroads on heating the place. We got it up to 56 degrees inside and it was high 20s outside with sun and mild wind. We may actually be able to start sleeping up there again.
Satisfying end of day
One last note - we had a solar hot water guy come out Friday to give us a quote on installing a thermal water system. I'll keep you updated, but so far it looks pretty darn good. 

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