Since my boxes arrived 19 days ago, I have been steadily unpacking and putting stuff away. By now I have whittled down the amount of boxes to 7 – all of them containing books – and the amount of extra stacks to… well, not too many. As the books will have to wait for a little while longer, and the stacks contain rather daunting papers, I took a break to do some more home improvement.
In all three rooms in my apartment where there are tatami, there are also interesting outlets in the walls, covered with plastic. If you unscrew that cover, you will see a hole in the wall leading out to the respective balcony. The hole is lined with plastic all the way, with another cover that can be opened on the outside. As I have one myself (courtesy of the previous occupant of my apartment) I assume that these are holes to more easily connect the air conditioners that stand on almost every balcony in my apartment complex. After all, the walls here are concrete, and it kind of defies the idea of an airco (which is here also used as heating in the winter) to need a window half open to use it.
In any case, the picture I took above shows the problem – the hole is empty. There is no insulation inside whatsoever. As I have been bravely unpacking however, I have lots of styrofoam and similar stuff left over, which I reused to fill up the three holes in my walls. Yes, you are right, it will not make any kind of difference with respect to the temperature in my house in winter, but surely, there must be some kind of placebo effect here as well. I for sure already feel much warmer!