So I decided to let the chickens venture a bit outside today. Granted, today might not have been the best day. It’s cold outside, and a little drizzly (though it wasn’t raining at all when I took them outside.)
I figured today would be a good day to take them out to our round-pen and let them run around in the sand. I was in the middle of cleaning out their bunker anyway so I figured since I had them in the portable cage, I would just take them outside to run around….
Well, there was no running around… it was more like me getting a bird out of the cage, then reach for another one, while bird number 1 ran back into the cage….
They were scared, and cold, and just wanted to stay together… But, I did get them outside for the first time since they came home!
Just a couple pics…
If it’s nice enough out today, I will be taking the chickies outside to play in the sand round-pen we use for the horses today…. this should be interesting! pics and vid to come if I get them out there!
No, I’m not talking about aliens or boogers…. I’m talking about little things that we can do around the house to help save energy.
Living in Arizona, we have some pretty major extremes in the summers, and it’s not possible to go without A/C. I sleep during the day since I work at night and we have pets, it’s just not possible. Our AC bills in the summer usually come pretty close to 400! OWWW
So a few things we’re working on before spring hits and the bills start going back up again.
Solar Film on the windows- Solar film allows light to come through but blocks heat from the sun. We have two big windows that cause the most heat input into our place, the bedroom window in the morning, and the kitchen window in the day/evening. (That one was the worst.) Previously, when we walked in front of the window in the kitchen in the summer, you could feel the heat just pouring in. Additionally, this window is the closest to the thermostat. Not Good! As soon as we put up the solar film, there was a HUGE difference! This is cheap, and fairly easy to install yourself, you just need the rolls, the adhesive spray and a squeegee!
Sun Screens- (DIY from Home Depot) Not your typical window screen that keeps the bugs out, this is a heavy duty material that can absorb up to 80% of the suns energy. Ray got these installed this last weekend. Sunscreen rolls were $20.00 a roll. Usually will need framing too, some of our windows needed it, but some we were able to pull the trim and put it on under it and put it back.
Between the two things, (Solar film and sun-screens), we should see a dramatic difference this summer.
Outlet Insulators- We discovered our outlets pour in a huge amount of cold in the winter, and heat in the summer, EEK!- Take a few minutes to go around and put your hands by the outlets and see if you feel any drafts- if you don’t, awesome, if you do, use the link. Quite useful, they have all shapes/sizes for outlets and light switches, and it’s like $3.00 for a 10 pack.
Air Filters- Stock up on a years supply of them and store them in the closet. Put a reminder once a month on your computer to change the thing out! It’s something we all forget about way too often!
Swamp Cooler- I love it, Ray hates it! I have an old swamp cooler that I cleaned up and got working (sorta, I still have a few kinks to work out on it.) – This is our backup- my AC unit is a little skitzy, likes to blow. Kinda hoping to use the swamp cooler (known as Swampy) March through June, and Sept/Oct/early november. Depends on how much Ray gripes about it. Swamp coolers use 80% LESS ENERGY than A/C units!
A swamp cooler runs on water and electricity, and works great above 85 degree temps with low humidity. Doesn’t work during monsoon season though out here (July/August)
Power Outlets- Vampire Power Suckers! Out of all the appliances we have in our house, we have a tendency to leave things plugged into walls, especially when they’re hard to reach. This costs the U.S. 3 BILLION a year alone in energy use! We PAY for that!
Leave your cell phone charger attached to the wall when you take your cell phone to work? You’re paying for it. Fast solution- Power Strips- Power strips, when turned off- do not draw power, and can be a quick flip switch for those out of reach outlets and have screw brackets on the back of them to mount them in a quick easy (and often concealable place) just within reach.
As we build our new place, a few things we will be implementing along with the above list are:
Ductless AC (since it’s a small place)
Solar powered Attic/Roof Fans, to suck heat out of the attic.
On Demand Water heater
Way better insulation, from walls to roof.
Classes just started back up, work keeps me busy, and trying to help get a couple people’s blogs up and going over the next week so posts will be down a bit. Ray started working on the fencing for the chicken coop with getting the poles ready and stuff…
Chickies are doing fantastic, and they’re such little pigs! They’re going through food faster, they’ve almost tripled in size since I got them. I’m moving their light source up more and more to prep them for outside living.
So that’s it for now, just a small update.