Home Remodeling & Renovation

Blocking Cold Air with Window Treatments

Perhaps you’ve been using your heater and radiator, but it seems to be working so hard yet it’s still cold inside. Cold weather becomes unbearable if the cold winter drafts penetrate your home. Covering your windows with the right treatments can help reduce energy loss, lower cooling bills and improve overall comfort in the home. Most window treatments can result in energy savings, but the amount you will save will depend on the type of attachment you use and how you use it.

To efficiently block the cold air, here are the window treatments to use:

Insulated cellular shades

Insulated cellular shades

Perhaps the most effective window treatment for blocking cold air is by installing insulated cellular shades. It insulates very well and can help improve the overall energy efficiency in your house. These are accordion-like and contain one or more air layers in a honeycomb cross-section. The honeycomb cross-sections have air pockets that act as insulators, reducing the conduction of heat through the window. They trap cold air and prevent it from coming to the room.

When tightly installed, insulated cellular shades can reduce heat loss through windows by 40% or more, which is equal to around 20% heating energy savings. When you need to cool down your house during the summer, cellular shades can reduce unwanted heat through the windows by up to 80%, which can cause 15% less solar gain.

By using cellular window shades, you can keep your indoor spaces warm and comfy even during cumbersome winter season. This acts as a barrier between the warm air inside and the cold air outside and in the window’s glass.

Window quilts

Window quilts are made of a sheet of quilted material placed against the trim of the windows, either on tracks or comes with an attachment like Velcro or snaps. They can be opened by rolling and closed by unrolling the quilt. They don’t allow much air infiltration, so when it’s really cold outside, they can help keep your interiors warm.

Installing window quilts can be difficult as their top sides must be in the same plane. The quilt must come down without something that obstructs the window sill. Also, it’s difficult to maintain. The fabric can be stained and it may go off of its track. If the quilt is made of cotton, this can be subject to discoloration from the sun’s rays, making it an unattractive option especially for those who live in the southern states. But the thing is, when it comes to blocking cold air, window quilts work great.

Curtains and drapery

Curtains and drapery

Curtains and drapes are common in most homes, and you can use them to efficiently block cold air. Curtains are usually sized to fit the window, while drapes are longer and reach all the way to the floor. During cold weather, most draperies can reduce heat loss from a room up to 10%, so it would be best to close all draperies at night, even the drapes that don’t receive sunlight during the day.

Here are some tips on how to make your curtains and draperies dependable for blocking cold air:

Seal it and hang it properly

To make it more effective, draperies must be hung as close to the windows as possible to prevent entrance of cold air. It must fall onto a windowsill or floor. To achieve maximum air-blocking effect, install a cornice at the top of a drapery and place it against the ceiling. Then, you can seal the drapery at both sides using Velcro or magnetic tapes.

Layer it.

Creating a layered effect using two draperies will create a tighter air space than just using one piece. Layering can also make a stylish look. You can hang a stylish curtain with a fabric lining facing the front side and a solid-color curtain facing the outside for a decorative and functional window treatment. These make air space tighter, plus the room-side drapery can work to maintain a warm temperature.

Choose proper fabrics.

Not all curtains are effective in blocking cold air from your windows. Obviously, you must steer clear from lightweight materials like lace, sheer cotton and linen for these won’t help you. Choose thick, heavyweight and tightly woven textiles like tweed, tapestry, suede, and velvet to provide a dense barrier against chilly or wintry outdoor air. There are heavyweight textiles that are energy efficient, like thermal curtain options.

Use thermal insulation curtains.

You can use insulated curtains to effectively prevent cold air from seeping inside your home. It comes with a layer of acrylic foam between double layers of fabric. Usually, insulated curtains also contain a vapor barrier coating, a decorative outer covering and a film layer. These all work together to prevent heated air from escaping outside or being cooled.

Roller shades

Roller shades block out the view from the window while also blocking the cold air outside. These are typically inexpensive, and can be raised or lowered from a roller bar fitted at the top of the window. These shades are drawn up to a series of stacked folds when raised.

When buying roller shades, choose those that fit inside the window casing, or those that fit just right outside. For better insulation, choose ones made of heavier fabrics, but overall, roller shades only offer a small amount of insulation. They can help block chilly air, but they are more effective for purposes such as darkening the room, blocking sunlight or privacy.

Exterior shutters

Exterior shutters

To add extra protection from the chilly air, you can do something about the exterior side of your windows like adding shutters. These are either made of wood, aluminum or steel. Most exterior shutters have a mechanical crank, motor or rod to allow opening and closing from the indoors. Roller shutters are typically mounted above the window, with side channels guiding them as they are lowered and raised. Once the shutters are rolled down completely, the slats meet, providing privacy, shade, security and protection from cold air.

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