Thermal Window Coverings - another line of defense
Use thermal window coverings to provide a level of insulation to slow down heat loss in the winter, and heat gain in the summer.
Window coverings are often a statement of fashion, but they can also be effective as part of your attempt to increase insulation from heat and cold.
As window technology improves, the insulation value of "glass" will increase, but there are many of us who still have single pane windows or old double pane windows that don't provide much insulation value.
A single pane window might give you R-1, and an old double pane window might give you R-3. That's not much more resistance to energy transfer than a sheet of plywood.
Here are 3 options to consider.
Comforter style drapes are one of the types of thermal window coverings. They look very much like a comforter in terms of thickness. Depending on the color chosen, these type of drapes can block out the sun effectively so they keep the house cooler in the summer.
They also create quite a thick barrier against the window, so they hold in heat from the house in the winter and keep it from escaping.
I don't like thick comforter style window coverings because they have a smothering type appearance. I like something that is a little lighter.
Thermal drapes are a bit lighter in appearance and performance as an alternative to comforter style window coverings. Thermal drapes are an older type of thermal window covering that blocks light effectively and provides a heavy curtain that keeps air from moving.
Moving air is capable of exchanging heat much more readily, so if the drapes can block air movement, they are effective thermal barriers and slow down heat that is trying to leave through windows in the winter, and get in through windows in the summer.
Pleated shades provide a diamond shaped hollow portion in the center of each horizontal member that acts as insulation as well as a sun block. These stack in a very small space when withdrawn up from the window, and they have a light an elegant look to them when allowed to hang down fully across the window.
Even if you don't have well recognized thermal window coverings, you can still use any type of window covering that will establish a "dead air" space between the window and the window covering. This will help slow down the energy transfer between inside and outside.
If you're not effectively sealed up, you'll have drafts and you won't have a good "dead air" space. If you are sealed up, then all you have to do is help stop the natural air movement induced by convection that will occur at the window because of differences in temperature between the air and the glass - that's what thermal or insulated window coverings can do for you.
Done with Thermal Window Coverings, back to Ways to Save Energy