Windows are the weakest link in any building’s thermal barrier. Until a few years ago a window was basically a hole in the wall that let light in and heat out. The R-value of a single-pane window is a miserable one. Nearly half of all residential windows in the U.S. only provide this negligible insulation value. In cold climates, windows are responsible for up to 25 percent of a home’s winter heat loss.
Install tight-fitting insulating shades. These shades incorporate layers of insulating material, a radiant barrier, and a moisture-resistant layer to help prevent condensation. Several designs are available. One of the best is Window Quilts. This quilted-looking material consists of several layers of spun polyester and radiant barriers with a cloth outer cover. Depending on style, they fold or roll down over your windows at night providing a tight seal on all four sides, high R-value insulation, privacy, and soft quilted good looks. This allows your windows to have all the daytime advantages of daylighting and passive heat gain, while still enjoying the night time comfort of high R-values and no cold drafts.
Excerpted from the Real Goods Solar Living Source Book,edited by Doug Pratt and executive editor John Schaeffer.Copyright (c) 1999, Real Goods. Reprinted by permsision of Chelsea Green Publishing Company and Real Goods.
Excerpted from Real Goods Solar Living Source Book, edited by Doug Pratt and executive editor John Schaeffer.