Beefing Up Your Existing Windows For The Winter

Just as cellular insulating shades can help keep heat and excessive sunlight from entering your home in the summer, during the winter they can help retain heat within your home.  The principles for each are somewhat similar and somewhat different.  Whiles insulating shades do more through reflecting unwanted light during the summer, the actual insulation benefit is marginal, though helpful.   On the flip side, insulating shades do little to “reflect” energy (heat) back into the room during the winter, however, they slow the transfer of energy through windows by reducing by insulating an otherwise conductive material, glass.  Of course, warm air can leak around the edges of your insulating shade, but the volume and rate that this will happen will be reduced by insulating all that square footage of glass.

(At Greenovations we use cellular shades by Comfortex for 2 reasons.  First off, they are much more affordably priced than other brands without sacrificing quality and ease of installation.  Secondly, Comfortex cellular shades are Green Guard certified for Indoor Air Quality.  And finally, Comfortex cellular shades are manufactured using a unique process that create zero waste fabric.  http://www.seacoastgreenovations.com/products/home-supplies-furnishings.aspx )

At our house, we take it one step further.   When we moved in to the house last year, it was evident that our dual pane windows were of a low quality.  It would be nice to have high quality windows, but the payback on the high cost of replacing windows, contrary to popular belief and sales pitches, is very long – at least 20 years.  (See the link below for energy efficiency pyramid and explanation.)  Instead, we ordered custom fitted interior storm inserts that add R-1 thermal value per inch while also tightly sealing the window area for air infiltration.   In conjunction with the cellular shades we installed, we expect  great energy savings this winter.

* Not all window pockets are large enough for both cellular insulating shades and window inserts.

http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/blogs/dept/green-architects-lounge/deep-energy-retrofit-apply-energy-efficiency-pyramid

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