Sunday, November 6, 2011
DIY Window Insulation
I had to turn on the heat in my house last week. Here we go again. So, broken record me, it’s time to talk winter and the effect the weather has on the heating bill. Did you know that between 10 and 30 percent of your heating bill is going out your windows? Would you like to reduce that amount by at least 50 percent without replacing the windows? Here’s how to DIY your way to a warmer house without custom made anything.
Understand, first of all, that the key is layering. Just as layering clothing is the key when going outside in winter, layering the window coverings is what needs to happen to keep the winter cold from meeting the warm of the room. The best insulating drape has at least three layers: the face fabric, a flannel interlining and a blackout back lining. Create the same effect with two curtain rods, each carrying one or more curtains. If you have blinds on the windows, layer in front of them for the same effect.
First step: Attach blackout lining panels to the back of existing drapes. If your drapes hang on drapery pins you are in luck, most pre-made panels have loops at the top that slip over the pins. You need to purchase enough panels to equal the flat width of the window only plus a bit for ease. If your drapes do not have drapery pins, use small safety pins to attach to the back of the drape.
Second step: Install a small profile curtain rod just under and slightly behind the existing one. On this rod install some semi-sheer drapes. Choose a neutral color so they blend into the wall and shop at the local fabric store, or online for super deals on panels. Choose panels that have pinch pleats and hang on the rod by pins. Overlap each edge by a few inches.
Third step: Install an insulating layer behind the sheers. Purchase super-wide cotton quilt batting the same width as the window, turn the top edge over and, again, use a safety pin to attach them to the drapery pins of the sheers. If you are a bit handy, put button holes equidistant across the top, or put in small grommets.
When spring happens, remove the insulating and blackout layers and replace them in the fall when the weather changes again. I know the safety pin thing may bother some, but it works, is inexpensive and no-one but you will know they are there.