A huge huge huge issue with the Cross House is how, ah, porous it is.
Wind freely blows through the windows/doors and exterior cracks and exterior missing bits. Then, inside, any heat is lost because the second floor plaster ceilings are so damaged that heat just vanishes up…and out.
Since buying the house four years ago, I have made a huge push to seal the damn house up. To this end, as each window sash is restored, I then seal it with peel-away caulk. This is a process I really enjoy because, immediately, my efforts are rewarded:
- Cold air rushing through the edges of the sashes just STOPS. This thrills me.
- The sound from the adjacent highway drops like 87%. Really, the sound reduction always amazes me.
So, sash by sash, and by repairing damage to the exterior, the house is way tighter than it was in 2014. When I am finished, I surmise that the house will be tighter than it ever was. Also, I installed a return air system, so, for the first time, all the heat generated by the radiators recirculates.
I repeat: I installed a return air system, so, for the first time, all the heat generated by the radiators recirculates.
All the first-floor sashes are now sealed.
On the second-floor, I still have to do the Octagon Bedroom, and Sewing Room.
About 70% of the third-floor sashes are sealed.
A big push for 2018 is to get all the second-floor ceilings repaired to stop heat from escaping.
When all this work is complete, and with the radiator system now up and running (gloriously!), it should be, I hope, affordable to heat/cool the house.
If so, this will be particularly remarkable as I am eschewing commonplace standards: I will not be installing storm windows, nor insulating the exterior walls. While such efforts would help, all my research indicates that sealing the house will offer the greatest return.
So, let’s meet again in a year or two to see if my hopes are realized.
The wine will be on me.
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