Did you know that not only do you need to dress properly to keep out the cold but that your windows do too… It sounds strange, we know, but so much heat is lost through windows. One of the easiest and most cost-efficient ways to keep warm during the cold winters is to make sure your windows are properly covered. Sufficiently insulated windows help to keep the inside warm and comfortable while cutting down electricity costs significantly.
There are different options available depending on your taste and budget, but the good thing is that most of them will last for a few years, making life more comfortable and justifying the initial costs.
Curtains are traditional and classy. But they do not just have to look good – they can be energy-efficient and provide insulation. Of course, not all curtains are suitable for preventing cold air from seeping into your rooms. You can, however, customise them to help ward off the icy cold air.
- Carefully choose the fabric: lightweight, lacy, sheer curtains are not much help. Heavy lined fabric in preventiand tightly-woven textiles work best.
- Lined curtains really help during winter. The extra layer really helps reduce the amount of cold air that gets into the room as well as preventing the warm inside air from escaping outside. (Plus, lined curtains prevent beautiful curtain fabric from being damaged by the sun thus making them last longer.)
- Fit and mounting of curtains also helps. If you can mount them close to the ceiling and go all the way down to the floor that is best. The curtains should be broad enough to cover the entire width of the windows (and that they close in the middle). Otherwise, cold air will sweep in through the sides.
Cellular Honeycomb Shades
If you are opting for shades and blinds instead of drapes, the best possible option for your windows are cellular honeycomb shades. The honeycomb fabricated pockets of the shades help to trap air which provides a layer of insulation to the windows. These shades help to lower radiant heat loss. You can choose from single-cell shades, double cell and triple cell shades.
These are extremely versatile. Roller blinds generally cover the whole window and if installed correctly fit snuggly over the window essentially sealing it, forming a barrier to the cold. In summer these can conversely help keep a room cool by reducing the amount of sunshine that comes into the room without completely obscuring the view.
Shutters can be installed on the inside or outside of the window. They offer similar advantages to roller blinds but have slats for light filtration. New style resin shutters are easy to install and over excellent insulation properties. They look great too! They don’t have an odour (when new) or yellow. Clean easily.
This option are can be adapted to give a contemporary feel so they can add to the room’s décor and style, whilst serving the purpose of insulating your windows. Roman shades are made of fabric – the thicker the fabric the better the insulation.
Combination of Shades, Blinds & Curtains
For a more foolproof solution to address the insulating needs of your windows, you can use combination of shades and drapes. Top your shades like roman or roller shades with drapes or curtains. They help to add style, colour and elegance to your rooms as well an additional layer to trap the heat for those cold winter nights.
Correct Operation of the Shades
Correct use of blinds, shutters or shades is quite important to get maximum benefit. Blinds must be opened and closed at right times of the day. It is important to keep them tightly closed during the night to help provide the barrier against the cold. Also, keeping them closed means the heater will need less energy to keep your rooms warm.
Similarly, it is important to have the shades raised in the morning to allow the morning sun to filter in.
Proper installation of any window covering is critical – if your curtains are not hung properly or your shutters not installed properly, they simply will not offer the benefit you had hoped for. To ensure that the window treatment is as energy efficient as possibly, a snug fit as close to the windows as possible is advisable.
To provide good insulation your curtains should:
- Be made from lined.
- Use a minimum of two layers of fabric
- Go from floor to ceiling where possible
- Fit tightly against the wall or window frame
- Be wider than the window frame
To provide good insulation, your blinds should:
- Be specifically designed and fitted to the window.
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