Reviews: A Warm Cozy Christmas
Right now, I’m stuck in my living room. Plastic sheets cover the doors and the tops of our furniture. Drills and saws creak all over the place, and muffled screams erupt from guy to guy.
They are carpenters, electricians, installers, inspectors and duct cleaners. All in my house at different times. All wearing masks, of course.
I can’t work in my studio or basement office because of the equipment, cables, tools, trash, and large sheets of metal strewn all over the place.
Dust flies as carpenters drill and saw through the old lathe and plaster to install new duct behind the walls.
And then there is the noise. I have to wear my earmuffs to muffle the noise of the old ducts being cleaned. Apparently they should have been cleaned more often. The occasional swearing I heard from the guy cleaning them backs this up.
It’s an invasion all over the place, but it’s for a good cause.
We finally install a heat pump.
Over the years we have had all kinds of renovations, installations and repairs done on this old house. It was built in 1938 and didn’t even have any insulation when we first moved in 32 years ago.
There was an oil furnace which is a lovely heat, but during our first winter here we almost froze to death. The heat just seeped in through the walls and windows and the cold came back inside. During a particularly cold stretch, I remember sitting on the living room floor in front of the lit fireplace, holding my toddler tightly because we were chilled to the bone.
Finally, we replaced the old cardboard that was nailed under the roof in the attic with real insulation and blew more insulation into the exterior walls. Later we installed new double glazed windows.
It all made a big difference.
But last June, when British Columbia was overwhelmed by that damn dome of heat, we had to sleep in the basement of our house to stay cool enough. Our electric fans were useless and air conditioners were out of stock everywhere.
And that’s when we heard about this magical new thing called a heat pump.
Now don’t ask me to explain all the technology behind it. But, essentially, it works as both a heater and an air cooler, depending on the time of year, with much more built-in efficiency.
Wikipedia says, “A heat pump is a device used to heat the interior of a building or heat domestic hot water by transferring thermal energy from a cooler space to a warmer space using the heat cycle. refrigeration, being the opposite direction in which heat transfer would take place without the application of external power.
Did you get that?
All that matters to me is that it is more energy efficient, better for the environment and that over time it will save us money.
The best news is that there are heat pump grants available from the federal and provincial governments, and you can even apply for them from some municipalities. It’s quite a process to get these grants including pre and post installation home inspections and all kinds of paperwork, but I don’t mind trying to keep the costs down.
Hush. It has become strangely quiet in the house. Have the workers gone for coffee? Breakfast? I take my chance and take a look in the basement.
Oh my god, this is a disaster area. I should have stayed away.
There have been a number of interesting items found under the shelves and inside the old ducts over the past couple of days. A golf ball, two dice, an old key, an eraser, old door hooks, an ice cube tray, plus a lot of dirt and dust. And a partridge in a pear tree.
Wait. An ice cube tray ?? At least they haven’t found any dead mice.
The best Christmas present this year will be a comfortable, heated house.
And they are back. With the screech of a drill and the pounding of a hammer, I hear the workers have returned. There seems to be an argument between two of the guys over something. Here is the oath.
Now where did I put those damn headphones?