How important was heat loss?

Throughout our blog posts we are constantly talking about Heat Loss and how very important it is.  The more heat you loose from your home the more money it costs you and the more fossil fuel you burn.  Losing money isn’t a good idea and contributing to Global Warming is for sure not a good idea.  Losing money is the same as foolishly wasting money, that’s fairly dumb.  Contributing to Global Warming is irresponsible!

In today’s blog let’s take a look back at what went on before our modern world. 

The Florence ranch house was a Mail Order home, it was one of 447 different and uniquely designed homes that were purchased through a Mail Order Catalog.  Once you picked out your home it was time to write a check, mail it to the store, and then sit back and wait for a truck to deliver all the various pieces, parts, lumber, building materials, and everything you’d need to build your own home.  Yup, each part was clearly marked, numbered, and cut to the correct size.  It was a truly modern marvel that lasted in the United States from 1908 until it ended in 1940.

During those thirty-two years roughly 75,000 homes were bought, delivered, and built all across the country.  Today the vast majority of those homes are still there with people living in them and raising their family; actually, it is fair to say most of these homes are on their second and/or third generation.  It was a great idea and extremely popular.  Most, if not all of the Mail-Order Homes are now listed on Historical Registries.

When it came to Heat Loss not a lot of attention was paid to Energy Efficiency.  After all a gallon of Fuel Oil was cheap and coal was even less. 

We talk all the time about building Super-Insulated homes with Triple Pane glass, all done to conserve energy.  Most of the Mail-Order homes came without any insulation and of course single pane glass in the windows.

Also, don’t forget that the vast majority of Mail-Order homes were small.  The Florence in today’s photograph was only 748 square feet of living space.  Back in its day that was more than enough.  Mom and Dad were in one bedroom and two or three kids all together in the second bedroom.  And, why would anyone need more than one bathroom?  So, in its day this was a fabulous home.

All of the Mail Order Homes have long since been upgraded to include tight Insulation, modern windows and doors, and efficient heating appliances.  I have been lucky enough to visit several of these homes and all of them are very beautiful.

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