Ted’s essays

minus 18

It is probably my fault.

Yesterday some great friends helped me blow insulation into our attic.

I still have not personally visited the attic, but it doesn’t take a certified HVAC engineer to ascertain the need.

I observe the snow melting off our roof, the prodigious icicles hanging from the eves and the 90%-efficient gas central heater’s inability to heat this house without the woodstove’s help and know our ceiling insulation is way below adequate.

While a licensed HVAC contractor could double the price, they could not significantly improve the result.

Tiny-town supplier Darby Distribution includes free rental of the chopper-blower with purchase of insulation – two pallets worth in this case. Their price beats Home Depot while delivering it all, instead of me dragging my trailer on a 135 mile Missoula fetching round trip and another 135 returning the machine.

The older section of this house had blow-in insulation … once upon a time. It had lost its loft long ago. The newer additions were so poorly done they were every bit as inefficient.

Thus, yesterday, we went from R-next-to-nothing to R 38 or so, with 10-inches plus of fresh blow-in covering old ceilings and young ones.

This morning, Ma Nature and/or the geoengineers decided we were ready for a test.

I toss this little aside in because we have a never-seen-before arctic air channel coming straight down the Pacific, the coast and western US from the North Pole half way into Mexico. Cold air normally sliding from Canada into central Montana and points East are hitting the warm side of the Continental Divide.

The central heater still cannot get this home up to 70. Its remaining serious defect is the uninsulated duct work that gives up heat as it traverses the basement to every corner of the house. The upside is that our insulated basement remains relatively comfortable. That is not up enough for me. I will wrap the easily done round ducts soon. But with its woodburning teammate, we got there a couple hours after I rekindled the fire.

Back to owning up for the lowest temperature of the year…

It is the guy who just washed his car that we blame for the rain. I don’t see why that wouldn’t apply similarly to the guy who just insulated his house.

Maybe I should not prepare for permanent collapse of the electrical grid.