My ‘How to Make Your Drapes More Energy Efficient’ display and I were part of the Green Home Tour on Saturday, May 14. I was at Jen Dyck and Steve Mennie’s home – the straw bale one. We were the last on the list but we had the first people show up at 9:45 and they kept coming all day; well, except for the lunch hour when Jen and I had time to take a little stroll around the property.
The weather cooperated; it was actually sunny for part of the day so everyone who came through seemed to be in good spirits, and there were many positive comments about the tour.
I don’t know much about straw bale homes except that they are very energy efficient. I did a bit of research and the astounding thing I learned is that a built to code ‘stick’ home will have R-20 insulation. Straw bale is equal to R-50 or 60 and the energy saving to heat is about 75%. I was looking at Google Images: 581,000 straw bale homes came up with a massive diversity of styles; some are whimsical, ‘hobbit’ stye; some look like a model home from Architectural Digest and everything in between. Conrad Wilkins designed and built Steve and Jen’s house and it is of a style all its own.
I was really pleased with the response to my display; I had samples of drapes with 4 different linings and the equivalent insulation that the various combinations provide; from about R-3 for a good window with unlined drapes up to R-10 or more by combining insulation and linings and with additional treatments -like Roman Blinds- the R-value can shoot up to R-16 or more . The code for homes in this area is 6 inch studs with R-20 insulation.
Removable blackout liners for your drapes will prevent heat from entering as well as leaving; so please remember this when the summer sun starts streaming in.
One other thing: the Sqwlax Pow Wow is held the third week in July. I went to one night of dance competition there last year and it was a highlight of my summer. I won’t miss it this year; it’s a really great family outing and would be a wonderful event to take out-of-towners to.