As it gets colder outside, you are likely thinking about preparing your home for winter; buttoning things up to make sure you are warm and cozy…and that your energy bills don’t get out of hand. There are many options for your windows that will help to keep the heat you pay for inside and keep the cold out. The bonuses are that they also help with comfort and cooling costs in summer, and they look good!
There are many attractive ways to winterize your windows, from insulated drapes to horizontal blinds and many options in between. For centuries, it has been all about layering and making the most of fabrics and trims. And while this is still popular – especially in historic buildings – modern architecture and a desire for more simple interiors has resulted in less covering on our windows.
Curtains and drapes with an insulated lining topped by a tightly-woven decorator fabric are the most-used option and studies show that they can reduce your window’s heat loss by 10% to 25%, with maximum effect if topped by a closed cornice, overlapped with Velcro where the panels meet, and installed close to the wall and floor.
Roller shades are most effective in winter if they have a dark color facing the window, a reflective side facing into the room and are installed close to the glass. Quilted or multi-layer Roman window shades seal out the drafts and insulate, but also block out light. Pleated or cellular shades are a great option, allowing more light transmission into your room, and Graber’s various styles offer an R-value of 4.55 to 4.76. Again, these need to be installed close to the glass and fit the opening properly to be most effective.
Though they have a lower R-value, blinds – both horizontal and vertical –are still helpful, especially when made of wood and installed close to the glass. The great benefit is that blinds can be opened on sunny winter days, allowing solar heat gain.
Shutters were the original method of controlling light, air and rain/snow at windows. Wood is a good insulator, especially if solid rather than louvered or pierced. Interior shutters, if solid in design and well-fitted, are very effective and can be combined with drapes or fabric blinds for very attractive window decor.
Now that you know the options, call us to discuss how we can winterize your windows to suit your style!