As I suggested in a previous post, I was very recently prepared to install some insulation between the canvas and felt of our yurts to try to deal with the fridgid temperatures we have been encountering most mornings now.I did a bit more research online (bless Google!) and found at least one person who suggested that this was not very effective. They didn’t really outline why they were so disappointed with it, but it hinted at the lack of continuity between one panel and the next, unless I could somehow foam the seams. This was not on.
Going back to things that work though, I recalled our research on the different yurt companies and their methods of insulation. To my mind, the most common insulation offered by modern yurt manufacturers is Reflectix.
I recalled that when I was inquiring after space blankets for the ceiling Maier Hardware had suggested that they did have Reflectix, so I called them and quickly determined that they also had the best pricing per roll.
I bought their entire stock of two rolls and yesterday we set about installing them in the large yurt.
First we pulled all our items away from the walls of the large yurt. This was a great chance to sweep and dust the floor in behind!
Then I pulled both rolls around the perimeter. Every three or four sections I had to pull the wrap out into a loop, as I found the friction to be too great to just pull the roll around the entire outside wall in one go.
One roll I pushed down to the floor, then notched the wrap at each junction of the frame so that we could push the insulation an inch or so down below the outer edge of the floor.
The next roll I pushed up to the rafters, again notching the wrap so that it overlapped onto the ceiling about six inches. I was able to tuck the ends of the wrap under each ceiling rafter, and they nicely bridged between the wall wrap and the space blankets already up in the rafters.
With a bit of work and co-operation Donna and I were then able to run a strip of metallic tape around the seam. I resorted to regular duct tape to seal the insulation to the door frames, mostly to block the draughts that Donna had detected in these zones.
I would say that this will also act as a bit of a vapour barrier now, so the felt shouldn’t be quite so humid. I like to believe that this will also help with increasing the felt’s ability to insulate. Dry insulation has to be more effective than wet, doesn’t it?
With the leftovers, I insulated both of our doors. They were just a single layer of planks, and you could literally see light through some of the cracks in them.
Cutting for the windows was a challenge. We had to find a compromise between access to the zippers and maintaining the structure of the bubble wrap.
We ended up cutting panoramic views that involve us folding the wrap up, and then the felt down. We’ve lost about 60% of the window space, but we feel it was a decent balance, especially considering that we are favouring our temperature comfort over our view.
We all agree that we now feel like we’re living in some sort of science fiction spaceship. It reminds of me 2001: A Space Odyssey, but Kenny thinks it is just a regular flying saucer.
It sure seemed like we noticed a difference – we didn’t put in a fire during the day at all yesterday. In the evening it only required a small firing of the stove to have us all agreeing that it was much warmer than usual in the yurts – both yurts even! It really appears that the heat from the larger yurt is better able to migrate to the bedroom yurt thanks to the added insulation.
This morning it was cold again, but that was after not having put on a fire for over six hours. Donna sent me to warm things up, and it took about a quarter of the usual time to do so. In half an hour the large yurt was quite comfortable – that normally took about two hours!
So anyway, after a sample size of one evening, night, and early morning, I am feeling very hopeful that this new experiment will be just what the doctor ordered.
As a side benefit, I can’t help but think that this layer of protection will also help keep down some of the lint in the yurts – the felt is great to look at and natural and all, but it did constantly shed small fibres that we were picking off the floor, ourselves, and our plates.
I will consult with Donna at breakfast to see if she thinks that we should apply the same treatment to the bedroom yurt.