Buttoning Up for Winter

Last Spring, I bought my first house.  This little 1900-built bungalow is a fixer-upper, to be sure!  Still, I love it.
The past few weeks, I (as many of you, I'm sure) have been tackling weatherization projects to prepare for the big W (that's Winter, of course!).

Lucky for us, this year the federal government is helping us out!  If you're a homeowner, you need to know about the Energy Efficiency Federal Tax Credit program.  You can get back 30% of the purchase price of energy efficient items, up to $1,500.  The credit covers everything from insulation and weatherstripping, to new windows and doors, to tankless water heaters and renewable energy systems.  You can find a full list of what products qualify at energystar.gov.

Here at Cream City Green, we've been doing all the easy stuff for a long time: we use CFL bulbs, we unplug vampire electronics, we turn off lights and appliances, we open window shades in winter and close them in summer...  But now that we own our home, we're making investments to save on our energy bills, and to stay green.  We're:

- Insulating the water heater and hot water pipes

- Caulking storm windows to prevent leaks

- Installing a ceiling fan in the living room to circulate warm air
(This project hit a bit of a hiccup when a large chunk of plaster gave way and created a sizable hole in our ceiling.  Mad spackling skillz, to the rescue!)

- Replacing the back door and storm door

- Installing a programmable thermostat

- Insulating the sidewalls and attic.  This poor old house of ours has virtually NO insulation in any of the exterior walls, and very little in the attic.  This situation would make for a very cold and very expensive winter!  We've decided to tackle this large project ourselves, as we'll be able to do most of the work from the attic itself.  We're using blown in cellulose insulation for the walls, and fiberglass batting for most of the attic.  I'll try to post pictures as we go!

Because the tax credit only goes through the end of 2010, it looks like we won't be able to cash in on installing replacement windows/storms, or installing house wrap under new siding.   ....These projects will have to wait for next year.

What kinds of projects do you have planned for this Fall?


  1. That is a lot of projects! Good luck with all of them this fall.

    I don't really have any house projects, especially since it wont get that cold, but maybe it's time to switch all of my light bulbs to CFL!

  2. Hey! Glad to find you blogging. ;)
    We own one of those 1920's vintage bungalows ourselves, and it's been a challenge to afford some of the changes to improve the efficiency of our house. For years now, we've been using peel & seal caulk on our gorgeous (but drafty) windows. A programmable thermostat definitely helped us save some money... and ceiling fans (particularly upstairs) have done their part as well. Would love to replace our windows, but I'm not sure if it's in the budget at this point!