The Need for Window Insulation to Combat The Cold Winter
Anyone who has experienced winter in the US, Canada or Europe would know only too well how harsh and cruel it can be. With the temperatures going well below the zero degree mark, it is the sharp piercing wind that leaves you numb. People try to spend much of their time indoors to escape the freezing cold. You have thermostats and heaters to keep the house cozy and warm those chilled bones. While room heaters no doubt are essential, the entire purpose is defeated if your windows continue to allow cold chilly air to seep in. It means that heaters have to work overtime to keep your house warm causing energy costs to shoot up considerably.
To combat the freezing cold winters, it is important to dress your windows adequately. Sufficiently insulated windows help to keep the inside warm and comfortable while cutting down electricity costs significantly. So before winter sets in, gear up and give those window treatments a makeover and get them battle-ready! Let us quickly take you through the window coverings you can choose from, for your windows.
Choice of Shades & Drapes for Window Insulation
Drapes & Curtains
Drapes and curtains are traditional and classy. They impart an elegance that is unparalleled. But did you know that these curtains can be energy-efficient and equipped with insulating properties? Of course, not all curtains are suitable for preventing cold air from seeping into your rooms. You can customize them for your windows to ward off the icy cold air.
• You have to carefully choose the fabric. Light-weight, lacy, sheer curtains are a big no. Heavy and tightly-woven textiles work best. Suede, velvet, tweed are denser and thicker, thereby preventing cold draft into your space.
• Insulated curtains work brilliantly during winter. They comprise four layers with a core layer of high-density foam which stops cold air from entering the house and warm inside air from escaping outside.
• You can also increase insulation by going for layered curtains. You can use a patterned curtain with thick cotton lining and hang it before a solid color curtain. It provides a unique visual appeal while also providing multi-layered insulation.
• A thermal lining instead of a cotton lining can make a world of difference in blocking cold air.
Fit and mounting of energy-efficient draperies is also critical. Mount them close to the ceiling and let them reach till the floor. The curtains should be broad enough to cover the entire width of the windows. Otherwise, cold air will sweep in through the sides.
Cellular Honeycomb Shades
If you are opting for shades and blinds instead of drapes, the best possible option for your windows are cellular honeycomb shades. They are perfect for the chilly winters. The honeycomb fabricated pockets of the shades help to trap air which provides a layer of insulation to the windows. These shades help to lower radiant heat loss and while most standard windows have an R-value of 3.5; cellular shades help to increase R-value to almost 7. You can choose from single-cell shades, double cell and triple cell shades. Double cell and triple cell shades add greater insulation. R-value is a measurement of resistance of a particular material to heat that flows through it. Shades that come with lower R-value are not good insulators.
Solar shades make a great choice of window coverings for both winter and summer. They have sun control screenings that help to block sun before entering the house during the summer. They don’t excel at insulation however, so won’t be the best choice for winter where you want to keep the heat inside.
Roller shades are extremely versatile. They are dual-sided with one side reflective and the other side equipped to absorb heat. So you can reverse them as per the weather demands. The reflective side should always be facing the warmest side. During winter have the roller shades’ reflective side facing inwards and insulated side outwards to help absorb the heat of the sun. It allows heat to stay inside your home during the freezing months.
Shutters are installed on the inside of the window frames. This snug fit tightly seals the window on all the sides and hence prevents cold draft from entering and warm air from escaping the room. The wooden shutters have slats for light filtration. When closed they also offer a foolproof seal to the windows. This insulating design of shutters has made them a popular choice for cold climates.
Roman blinds are extremely classy at the same time can be adapted to give a contemporary feel. They also serve the purpose of insulating your windows. Roman shades are made of fabric. So for those harsh winter months, you can choose thermal fabric for your Roman shades. Thermal fabric is great for absorbing heat and trapping it inside the house.
Combination of Shades & Drapes
If you want a more foolproof solution to address the insulating needs of your windows, you can use combination of shades and drapes. Top your shades like Roman or roller shades with drapes or curtains. They help to add style, color and elegance to your rooms as well an additional layer to trap the heat for those cold winter nights. Insulating drapes instead of standard ones help to serve the purpose better.
Correct Operation of the Shades
Choosing the right window dressing to meet the demands of bitter and freezing winter months is the first step towards insulating your windows. Which shade or drape works best for the windows and your rooms can make a huge difference. However, selecting the right shades is not enough. They need to be used properly for optimum satisfaction and for them to serve the purpose.
Blinds must be opened and closed at right times of the day. It is important to keep them tightly closed during the night to help provide the barrier against the cold. Also, keeping them closed means the heater will need less energy to keep your rooms warm.
Similarly, it is important to have the shades raised in the morning to allow the morning sun to filter in. Again closing them at the right time will ensure that the heat remains trapped inside.
Proper Installation of Shades
You may have wisely chosen your shades and operate them with care. Still, the window coverings are not able to provide the insulation you desired. This may be attributed to improper installation of the shades. To ensure that the window treatment enjoys highest energy efficiency, care must be taken to ascertain that the shades make a snug fit as close to the windows as possible. Make sure that the blinds overlap evenly and there are no gaps around the shades and blinds because this will cause cold air to flow in.
There are few months left before temperatures start falling and winter sets it. Find the right retailer and right combination that works well for the windows. Give them a good dressing, sit back and enjoy the warmth inside, sipping on a hot cup of coffee while watching the snowflakes fall on your windows.