A Month in the Yurt

This weekend marks one month of yurt living. I’ve figured out my systems and routines for this little place, but even more, I’ve decorated and started to meet some neighbors, so now it’s feeling like home. The skylight is still my favorite part, though there’s a ripe fig that’s taunting me. I’ve managed to enjoy many other figs since moving into the yurt, but this big, ripe purple fig is hanging overhead, visible through the skylight but just out of my reach. So alluring and so alluding!

Now that the weather is getting chillier – it was 38 degrees last night – people have been asking me how it’s going, living in the yurt. I tell them it’s been great! I have noticed the dropping temps, but so far it’s been very comfortable still. I lived in Eastern Washington for ten years and experienced the four distinct seasons there, so I feel myself bracing for the long weeks of below freezing temperatures, hoar frost, and snow. But it’s nice to know that although it will continue to get colder, I do live in a very mild climate and it won’t get dramatically colder. I joke about how Portland has four seasons, too – warmer, cooler, wet, and wetter – and they can occur at any time of the year!

After confirming my building science with Derin of UrbaNest who does home energy auditing, I’ve made a small step to address the cold weather by reversing the insulation layer. It was set up for summer so that the reflective layer was facing outwards to deflect heat so I switched it so it’s now reflecting heat back into the space. It’s a thin insulation layer so it doesn’t do much for conductive heat losses, but it should help a little bit. I also closed up the windows for the winter. I miss having the view of the fig tree right outside, but I’ve noticed it is quite a bit warmer this way. I will be take a few more steps to weatherize the yurt. So far I have only had to turn the heater up to the third notch out of ten notches. I’ll keep ratcheting it up a notch as needed. I figure if I’m still chilly by the time the heater is running full-tilt, I’ll just add an extra sweater and be glad my Crockpot Does Double Duty!