[Ok-sus] Retrofitting homes for energy efficiency

sjpratt at kanokla.net sjpratt at kanokla.net
Sat May 24 15:56:35 UTC 2014

If you want something really quick and handy, and easily removeable, I have a west-facing window in my “sun room” that during the peak of summer, I will put up some of those foil, insulated car window shades in the west window to reflect the heat back out.    To hold them in place, I got a couple of the spring-loaded curtain rods to put on the back of the shades.   

I have also used these in very cold, cloudy weather as a bit of impromptu insulation.

They really help when I want to block out the summer sun.

Sylvia Pratt

Sent from Windows Mail

From: Kelley C Smith
Sent: ‎Friday‎, ‎May‎ ‎23‎, ‎2014 ‎3‎:‎45‎ ‎PM
To: ok-sus at lists.oksustainability.org

I have made some insulated window shades that I'm fairly happy with…. used thrift store sleeping bags, cut them to about the right size and covered with decent-looking calico. I have only made three, for my northernmost windows. I just leave them thumb-tacked up all winter. Would not work everywhere, but, not very expensive. But, I like to sew. Even so, I've never managed to make covers for all windows, though I think the three I chose take the brunt of cold winter wind.

I have tried to think of something for doors, especially on winter nights. Just can't quite think of something that seems practical for doors. I have thought of putting a "zipper window" in the window shades so that I could look out.

I do think the question of retrofits is a difficult one… 

On May 23, 2014, at 9:49 AM, Bob Waldrop <bob at bobwaldrop.net> wrote:

P.S.  Looking at the pictures again, he also put a roof on the building with overhangs.  That is another issue with putting a straw bale wrap.  Most of us would need to extend our eaves so that we have the proper overhangs for this lattitude which helps keep the sun off the south walls.  That's not a deal killer, but it would be an additional expense, unless you already have deep eaves.


On 5/23/2014 7:56 AM, Kelley C Smith wrote:

I have been contemplating what it would take to make my house more energy efficient. I know I need weatherstripping and could use more insulation. 
But, that doesn't really seem like enough, given the dire situation with energy. Of course, it seems easier to sell the house and try to find a place to build a new smaller house designed from the ground up to be super-efficient (and small). But, that doesn't really solve the problem for society, as then someone would just buy and move into  my old house. And, while I think solar panels would be amazing, I have some skepticism. Could they really survive an Oklahoma hail storm? And, does anything that has to withstand Oklahoma sun really last as long as promised? 

Here is an article from Mother_Earth_News that caught my attention. Describes adding an outside layer of straw bale outer wall to an existing house. 


Now, to me, Mother_Earth_News sometimes presents some very difficult things as much easier than they actually are, but this does look interesting to me. 

Just thought I would bring this up. Housing in Oklahoma is a conundrum.


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