Saturday, December 25, 2010
Winter window fixes
The cold snap reminded me that the windows in my new-to-me condo needed attention. I finally took some time and made the insulated drapes for the balcony sliding doors and used a new lining that is flannel backed. Like the new black out linings it drapes much better than the older versions of the same thing and the price was actually less than regular drapery lining. I took down the plastic verticals (they were there when I moved in) and installed a double rod, put some crinkle sheers up and then the soft yellow drapes and I love them. And the room is so much warmer. If you want to do something like this yourself, look into the pre-made panels available that have blackout lining built in.
I made removable insulated liners for the bedrooms; I didn’t want to use black out lining - I like as much light as possible, especially in this dark season - so I used a very thin cotton quilt batting that also drapes well and these rooms are a lot warmer now too.
I don’t like to repeat myself but I thought this might be the time to remind you that you can make a difference in your heating bill by fixing your window treatments.
A home with 4” studs must have R-12 insulation. If you have a double insulating glass window with 1/2” air space between the layers, the R value of the window is about 2. Add a single layer of fabric, almost no increase, add a plain lining for an increase of about 1 for a total R value of R3. Add a black out lining; R-value is up to about R5 or 6. Add an interlining, and the R value jumps to about R9. Add an insulated Roman Blind and valance and the R value of the whole window treatment becomes about R16. Remember that the window treatments you are using to reduce heat loss must be snug to the window and layers will provide the best protection. Think about this: if you have a blind inset into your window frame and the gap on each side is 1/8”, over 80 inches (40 inches on each side) this equates to a 3” x 3” hole in your coverage.
If you’d like to know how much of your heating costs are going out the window, e-mail me; firstname.lastname@example.org.