This is my third winter in the trailer, and I get better at winterizing each time. Since I just survived a blizzard very comfortably, and the weather is unlikely to be worse this winter, I'm hereby declaring the worst of the winter weathered.
- I've gotten more efficient each winter at heating effectively. The first year I heated exclusively with the propane duct system, and it was a cold, long, less than pleasant (and expensive!) winter. Last year I switched to two electric radiant heaters (one in the kitchen, one in the living room) which did a much better job, but were a pain to trip over and were a bit on the expensive side to run. Also, they provided zero airflow so my sleeping compartment was still always frigid.
This year, Maggie and Cris bought me this amazing infrared heater which is AMAZING. It keeps the whole place warm, is thermostatically controlled, and the blower keeps the air circulating, helping keep the whole place peetty evenly warm (my sleeping compartment was still a few degrees cooler, but that's how I prefer it, so that's fine). Plus, the sensory experience of being able to sit by a stove is just amazing. ;) I think this is the final solution. (When I build my tiny house someday, I think I'll choose a hard - wired infrared or propane fireplace.)
- Still using my electric blanket. I won it at my family gift exchange the first Christmas I was in the trailer and it's still going strong. I would highly recommend it to anyone who's living in cold quarters.
- I didn't insulate the heated hose this time. I always end up ripping off sections of the insulation at least once to deal with frozen sections, and it never seems to make a difference. It hasn't this year, either - if anything I've had fewer issues than ever. I did have a section of the pipe freeze once, but without the insulation I was able to see immediately that the heat tape had loosened, and once I tightened it, it thawed within minutes. So far so good. It's been a huge blessing to have almost zero issues with running water this year!
- The problem spot continues to be the faucet. It seems there's just no good way to insulate it. I wrapped it pretty thoroughly with the heat tape, but it froze in the middle of the blizzard. I defrosted it with a couple pitchers of hot water from the big house, then (since I lacked any other good options and hey, it worked last year!) I wrapped it with a couple of kitchen towels and zip - tied them into place. I'll probably try to pick up a Styrofoam faucet cover as soon as the world thaws and see if that fixes the problem. If not, hey, kitchen towels for the win! ;)
- Also on my "to do someday" list is rugs. The place could be 80° inside but the floors are still icy cold. I could fix this at least a bit by putting up skirting, but I shudder to think about the wildlife that would attract. I think I'll just buy some cheap throw rugs to put down over the linoleum.