New Windows and a Tornado Warning
But the new windows... Man. What a difference. Our ancient condo's sunroom is an extension of the living room. There is no partition or wall--the living room just flows right into the sunroom. And the sunroom has four French-door type windows with floor-to-ceiling casements (two each on the south and west walls) and two slightly smaller casements on the north wall. In addition, the west wall of the living room has a floor-to-ceiling casement. The casements are wooden and original to the building (c. 1920). They are anything but tight. The old storm windows on the outside of the casements--the ones that bit the dust this morning--were in terrible shape. They weren't very tight either, and one of them was broken entirely--the top storm window had fallen out of its frame and was lodged against the bottom storm window, with only the screen to keep out winter winds at the top.
Was it any wonder that our living room was really, really cold every winter? That even our attempts to put up that plastic stuff that you shrink-wrap tight with a hair dryer didn't keep the frigid blasts from intruding and chilling us to the bone? That we used to layer on the sweaters and socks just to sit on our sofa and read of an evening?
Well, no more!
These windows are tight! There is nary a crack to let in a draft anywhere on them or beside them. They can be opened with ease, and they tilt inward for exterior washing. Well, that would be a perk if I ever had any intention of lifting a finger to wash them...I mean, let's be honest here.
It was a most amazing experience, though, standing in the sunroom as a big storm whipped up early this evening. I had taken the day off from work to be there for the window installation, but Jeff had just returned from work, and we were admiring the new windows when all the trees on the street started bending to and fro, leaves flying everywhere. Rain started pelting the new windowpanes, but what a revelation! The casements were silent--no wind was moaning through them. The sunroom was cozy--there were no drafts wafting around our ankles or any other body parts.
And then we heard some thing odd through those tight, tight windows. At first, we thought someone's horn had gotten stuck on the street below. Then reality dawned. Evanston was blowing its alarm--its tornado warning siren. When I worked in Evanston seven years ago, the town tested the alarm every Tuesday morning at 10 am sharp. And now... yipes! The wind was wicked (still no draft through the new windows, though!), the sky was darkening to that sick pea green, and the clouds were roiling. We stepped out of the sunroom and loitered in our hallway for a while, puzzling whether it was the best place in which to cower. When a couple minutes had passed with no tornado to show for it, we ventured back out to watch the storm which, according to present lack of google news hits, apparently did not produce a tornado in Evanston or vicinity. We probably should come up with a plan, should a tornado actually put in an appearance in the future, though.
At any rate, it's good to know that even gale force winds can't penetrate these new windows. I think we can get away with a single sweater each this winter.