It looks like Fall is coming into the valley with a very rapid drop in High temps this week. We have gone for 95-100 degree highs down to 75-80 degree highs in less than 2 weeks. I’m loving the cool off because I can remove the window A/C units and start saving money on that electric bill. With the new windows and siding I had one very high cost month for electricity this summer. August was a very hot and smokey month, so I often ran the A/C units 24/7 for cool as well as filter out some of the smokey air. In September most of the fire smoke is gone and with it cooler I can get away with using fans during the day.
My overall assessment of the savings from the siding and new window installation, saved at least $200.00 on electrical costs over the summer months. That is not a lot of money but the wood stove has saved a lot of money on heating costs. With window install and having good firewood for this winter heating season I can give a solid report next spring on the total savings on energy costs since the siding and new windows were installed.
One very nice thing about the new windows is installing the window A/C unit and not have the window try and slam shut on me or the A/C unit before it was installed. The unit was very easy to remove today and re-installing the screen was simple with no tools required to get the screen in place. The larger ‘portable’ A/C unit did not require removing the screen and kept the front part of the house cool during weeks of 95-100+ degree heat this summer. Overall I’m happy with using smaller/ room size A/C units to cool during the summer rater than using the old whole house system. Of course I prefer wood heat to heat the house compared to an electric forced air system.
Cutting up kindling today and loading up the porch wood rack. I made two trips with the garden cart and almost filled up the ‘porch’ wood rack with a mix of lodge pole pine, Doug fir and poplar. My wood piles are divided as one is mostly poplar under the carport and the Douglas fir is in the original wood storage area. I need to burn both woods in my wood stove. On to cutting kindling I’m focusing on the Doug Fir wood pile as I stacked mostly small and I hope easy to split fir for kindling. My 1 1/4 pound hatchet blade needs a lot of sharpening to cut kindling. I should not be surprised as my ax needed a good sharpening before it could cut wood rather than split wood. I’ll sharpen up the hatchet and get to work on the kindling.
Hurricanes: I have to say that people are “panicking” four days out rather than 2 days before the storm hits. That is progress I guess….? Is tap water undrinkable for a few days in the Carolinas? I mean fill a few water jugs, fill up the tub to flush the toilet should take care of water needs. I figure getting a generator/solar power to charge electronic devices, lighting. Sandbags and lumber would be the items to get on hand and storing all frozen food in a garbage bag in case you lose power you could clean the freezer easily.
Can you buy Quick concrete bags to build a wall against flooding? Sure it would be a pain to remove but if it protects you from flooding could it be a good back up? For all of you not in the storm zone you should test your preps.
Disaster Test: This is for those outside the disaster zone.
- How much drinking water do you have stored?
- Lighting, Solar camping lights, Solar panels, candles, flashlights or lanterns. Have you tested those batteries? Do you have fuel for lanterns?
- Cooking when the power is gone. A little grill via charcoal or propane can at least boil water and heat canned foods.
- Food: That garden is probably gone if flooded do you have canned goods for at least 2 -4 weeks?
- Power: Do you have a generator that can power a freezer? Do you have fuel enough to power a freezer until you can preserve what is in the freezer? Could you preserve what is in your freezer in 2-3 days?
- People: They will get a little crazy in about 2 weeks and they will need diversions. When you fire up the generator let people charge the tablets, phones and laptops if possible. Have dice games like Yahtzee, cards and if possible low energy cost TV movies or video games. Are YOU ready for a local disaster?
- What will you do with you poo if the local sewer system is compromised? What will you do with your trash if the trash guys don’t show up the next few weeks?
Most people have only 2 options. Get out now if you are not prepared and that is a smart thing to do if you are not prepared. Go visit family or friends inland and have a little vacation. Photograph everything before you leave and not deal with the storm. If you are prepped you could stick out the storm, realize you are on your own. If you think having an ax to chop through the roof makes you prepared please evacuate now!