Friday, February 7, 2014

Windows and Indoor Comfort

As I sat here without electricity, I found myself (for at least the tenth time this winter) glad for our lucky timing. We replaced our old nearly 100 year old windows for modern, low-E, double paned ones just this past summer. Ahhhh. Summer. But I digress. Immediately afterward, I was trying to convince the kids that they didn't need the shades open for the light so much as they needed to leave them closed and keep the heat in the house.

In our situation, better windows were worth the expense. They will provide excellent value over time if you are in a drafty old home. If you have decent windows already or are making decisions for new construction, it may be worthwhile to take a look at the effects of your window coverings. They can make a difference in reducing heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer, and they are are great way to add color, texture and style to your home decor.

For the winter, insulated cellular shades are optimal for keeping the interior warm. Conventional roller shades offer some modest benefit as well, especially if you combine them with lined draperies for a layered effect. An interesting tip when you are in a pinch, your power is out, and aesthetics aren't your first concern--even lining the windows with bubble wrap will be a help. As a bonus, you can still get the natural light, too.

Planning for your needs during the summer months offers some interesting style options to shade your windows that you may not have considered. Awnings can add unique curb appeal and are a great way to reduce heat gain. Metal awnings aren't adjustable, but can be built to suit your taste and are more durable than canvas types. Adjustable canvas awnings come in many styles allow you to control the light so that you can still let it in on chilly winter days like we are experiencing. For an inexpensive benefit that will not dictate any style choices, even a discreet surface film will have modest benefit. Indoors, louvered blinds are popular, but don't offer much thermal protection. If you like this style best for your window treatments, consider solar screens on the outside.

Have fun thinking about what you would like to choose for your warm weather comfort. Maybe enjoy your design magazines with a cup of hot chocolate!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Mel: I am finally able to find some time to read up on your blogging! I like that you are writing in first person, too. Thank you so much! I love the real personal approach to your writing. It reaches out to folks in a way that they can connect an experience/scenario to "someone"- and in some cases, in real time! :)