Best curtains and window coverings for energy efficiency
how to choose window coverings that will improve a home's energy efficiency
Thermal shades and draperies are very effective for insulating windows and improving comfort. The shades, draperies, or shutters are more effective if they are airtight or custom fitted, because they create a dead air space between themselves and the glass. The airtight seal also prevents warm, most indoor air from depositing condensation on the window glass.
The energy efficiency of window coverings is measured in R-values, like insulation. The higher the R-value, the more it will protect your home from heat loss. A shading co-efficient is an important measurement for summer cooling, and it indicates the window covering’s ability to shade against heat gain. The lower the number, the more effective the shade will protect your home from the summer sun.
Chloe is spot on with her answer, but you can also use window film to help cut the heat and cold from penetrating the glass - An opaque film with the addition of thermal curtain panels will work well together - A double threat of sorts for a window treatment.
I assume you have already tried or rejected replacing your windows with energy efficient double pane or triple pane windows. Airtight multi-paned windows with air or gas (krypton or argon) trapped between the panes provide excellent insulation. If you have not, that is where you should start. If you cannot afford that or have already done that, the next step is to choose energy efficient window coverings such as shades, blinds or curtains. These can all be great if you purchase quality products. Keep in mind, however, that if you have old and unreplaced windows, those are where you can add the most value. And given the federal tax credit and rebates and incentives from your local utility companies, these changes may be affordable
The best is to use both a window film, and thermal curtains for maximum energy efficiency. Window film keeps out solar heat and prevents heat loss in the winter; and thermal curtains help to prevent radiant heat / cold.
Both are easy DIY jobs if you don't need scaffolding to reach the tops of your windows.
For further info check out these this hub.
How Lined Curtains Can Save You Money - http://hubpages.com/hub/How-Lined-Curta … -You-Money
As a renter I've never had the option of replacing windows. I've been using plastic window film for years in combination with curtains and found it effective.
Also check how well the wall area, particularly under the window, is insulated. After sealing the window a lot of cold can still seep in through a poorly insulated wall. Tacking up a nice looking blanket has always done the trick.
Here is a hub about how to hang the plastic window film:
http://hubpages.com/hub/Consumer-Regret … indow-Film
By far the most energy efficient shades are blackout double cell shades. They provide 100% UV Protection. They also allow you to control the temperature within the home. You can keep the heat in during the winter or keep the heat out during the summer.
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