Question - I converted my attached brick garage (no wall insulation) into a study. Heating it has increased my utility bills, but is is still chilly. What is the easiest way to insulate the walls? H.D.

Answer - During winter, some walls just seem to radiate cold drafts. Building do-it-yourself movable interior insulating wall panels is a simple way to block the cold. The energy savings quickly pays back the material costs.

These decorative panels can also improve the appearance of your study. Design them so that one set of insulating panels slides behind the other. When opened, half of the natural brick wall is still exposed.

This wall insualtion system consists of four simple panels made from one-inch-thick rigid insulation board. Your local fire codes may require rigid foam insulation to be covered with 1/2-inch gypsum. Finish the panels with any attractive material or fabric to match your room's decor.

Two stationary outside insulating panels are spaced out from the brick wall. The two center panels slide on tracks behind them. To close them and insulate the entire wall, slide them together from behind the outside panels. Add weatherstripping to eliminate chilly drafts.

In the summer when they are opened, the center half of your brick wall and your windows are exposed for ventilation. If you prefer the entire brick wall exposed, mount the outside panel supports with screws, not nails. Remove the panels and store them in your new garage until next winter.

Just hanging opaque drapes a couple of inches from the wall often makes you feel warmer but does not save a lot of heat. The drapes keep your body from radiating heat directly to the cold wall. Although you feel warmer, the uninsulated brick wall is still robbing your energy dollars.

Another option is to add external wall insulation to block heat loss and keep the wall warm. Adding siding with one- or two-inch foam insulation board underneath is effective.

Several companies manufacture new and retrofit exterior insulation systems specifically for masonry walls. Some are only for contractors and others are for do-it-yourselfers. Check building supply outlets.

Depending on your existing exterior wall finish, rigid foam insulation is attached to your existing walls with adhesives, mechanical fasteners or both. Rigid foam is easy to cut and fit around windows. Special stucco-like coatings cover the insulation for an atttractive, air-tight finish.

Writer for Utility Bills Update No. 840 showing do-it-yourself instructions, diagrams and materials list for making a movable insulating wall system, and a list of eight manufacturers of exterior wall insulation systems and stucco-like coatings. Please include $2 and a self-addressed envelope.

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James Dulley, Deseret News, 6906 Royalgreen Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45244

Question - I use my wood burning fireplace sometimes and I noticed all the heat seems to go straight upward. It is very warm near the ceiling and drafty near the floor. What can I do to stop this? A.J.

Answer - The problem that you are having is called stratification. Since warm air is less dense, it naturally rises to the ceiling. The combustion air being drawn into the fireplace creates the chilly draft.

Install well-sealing glass fireplace doors. Install a ceiling paddle fan in the room with the fireplace. Set the rotation switch so that the air is forced upward. On low or medium speed, this develops a warm air flow pattern from the ceiling down the walls to the floor.

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