Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Up Go the Heating Costs

Don’t know exactly why, ( I have a good idea, but can’t be sure ) but my electric bill has increased 50 percent over where it was this time last year. My condo is heated with electricity, so this is a substantial increase. I know many of you are in the same position because I am being asked more often than ever about insulated window coverings. So, here is a bit of information I have mentioned before, but bears repeating now.  Think about this: the correct window coverings can reduce your heating bill by up to 25 percent.

Hunter Douglas, one of the largest manufacturers of window coverings, have produced a variation on the honeycomb shade, the Architella with an R value of 7.7.  (R-value is a measure of resistance to heat transfer.)This is believed to be the highest insulating value of any manufactured shade. Yet.

A new home with 4” studs probably has R-20 insulation, older homes less. 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 and a typical lining for an increase to 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 must be snug to the window and layering will provide the best protection. Consider side panels over blinds to counter the gap between the blind and the window frame. 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.

As a full service drapery workroom, I will add lining to existing drapes, either a permanent or removable liner, or you can find pre-made panels on-line or at Fabricland.
If they are blackout liners you will get the most protection against heat going out in the winter and coming in during the summer. In addition to blackout lining, I use a thin cotton quilt batting - works like putting a quilt on the window.

I can tell you how much of your heating bill is actually going out your windows. Call me for more information. 250-833-1120.

No comments: