Today I have the distinct pleasure of enjoying a day that’s minus 18 degrees.  “Enjoy” might not be the best word, on second thought.  Or maybe I do mean it, but in a tongue-in-cheek kind of way.

The Midwest is known for our corn and our pork.  We’re known for good public school systems and for those bridges in that Madison County movie.  But we’re also known to have some pretty darn cold winters.  And that’s a fact.

As a native of Florida, I detest the cold weather.  Over a decade of living in Iowa hasn’t thickened my blood or made me less susceptible to being discomfited by the frigid temperatures and biting wind.  I stay indoors as much as possible and avoid stepping outside, even into our garage, as much as possible.  That can make for a long five months of a season, for sure.

One thing that’s made Old Man Winter more tolerable has been the insulation project we finished late last summer.  Tired of astronomical cooling bills, we scheduled a home energy audit with our utility company.  He told us that all those faint drafts and cool rooms added up to some significant air transfer, and that’s not a good thing.

He determined we had some decent basic insulation in our attic, but that we certainly had room to add more.  He also suggested we look into a relatively new product (but evidently one that’s getting a lot of press) called reflective insulation.  The product looks a lot like tin foil, the stuff you might use in the kitchen.  But the foil insulation effectively stops heated air from moving into spaces where there’s colder air.  That was a perfect solution for our house, where the warm air we were paying for seemed to keep rising into the attic and out into the atmosphere.

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