We have experienced some quite chilly temperatures so far this winter and will be spending more to heat our homes. Good home construction, insulation and high efficiency furnaces, all work to keep our heating costs to a minimum. But we can do a bit more to keep the cold air from entering our home. Adding extra insulation to the attic is a great start.
Adding insulating window treatments can help to insulate our home and keep the cold air outside.
When compared to the insulated roofs and walls of our homes, our windows are more like “wind holes” or energy holes that allow up to 15 times more heat energy to flow through even with modern double or even triple-pane windows.
Let’s discuss “R-values” for a minute. R-values measure resistance to heat flow. The walls of our homes generally have an R-value of 19, while standard double-pane windows have an R-value of only 2. Adding an insulating window treatment mounted in the inside of your window can add up to four more points to the R-value of the window. When not mounted within the window casement, the insulating window treatment can allow more cold air between the shade and the glass that will flow out around the sides and the bottom, reducing the effective R-value of the insulating window treatment. The higher the R-value, the less heating cost “going out the window”.
Adding insulating window treatments is a great way to help keep the cold air from entering the room.
Hunter Douglas has a patented honeycomb-within-a-honeycomb construction for their Duette Architella shades.
This means that there are three air pockets to trap air flow, maximizing insulation between the window pane and the room. The R-value rating increases with the use of opaque fabrics that incorporate a metallized inner cell. The inner cell bears the weight of the shade, allowing the outer pleats to always be crisp and even. There are four layers of fabric, making colors rich and radiant, but importantly, trapping the cold air so it doesn’t flow into the room. So not only do the Duette Architella Shades provide superior insulation, they provide fashion and beauty to your home with the hundreds of color and texture combinations available.
Lined draperies are another type of insulating window treatment.
Good quality lining is usually a bit lighter than the decorator fabric and made of a cotton or polyester fabric or a blend of the two. It has a bit of a sheen, and adds weight to the face fabric, making the draperies hang better on the rod. The draperies look fuller and more luxurious. Drapery lining adds another layer of fabric to trap the cold air and prevent it from entering the room.
Interlining is a flannel fabric that is between the decorator face fabric and the lining. This layer adds extra insulation. There is also a heavy version known as English Bump. English bump is quite thick, keeping out the damp cold of their weather across the ocean.
There are also coated linings. Coated linings are made of fabric that has been specially treated to provide more insulation from the weather, protect the drapery from moisture, but can also block out the light. Blackout lining is great to make rooms dark for better sleeping at night or to watch your favorite movie. A high end, exclusive type of blackout is called French blackout. French blackout is not a lining but rather a method of lining that involves four layers – the decorator fabric, the interlining, black lining, and then the white or off white layer. Wow, that’s a lot of layers to really trap that cold air!
If you have any questions or want more information about insulating window treatments, Kim will be glad to help. You can call her at 513-398-5798 or email her at kim@EWbyKimLyon.com
(Drapery photo credit: Houzz)