Preparing for Winter
As the mercury starts dipping, start preparing yourselves for the cold and chilly winter months ahead. The woolen sheets are washed and kept on standby, the room and water heaters are serviced and checked whether they are working fine, and you start keeping a tab on the weather forecasts. But what else can we do to prepare for the winter?
Insulating your windows to combat the cold weather must remain top priority. While windows are great to have and are the source of light, warmth and energy in the house, they remain the biggest cause of energy loss. The gaps allow warm air to escape and cold draft to flow in during winter. This means that the heaters have to overwork to keep rooms warm, consuming more energy. This has your energy bills skyrocketing which on any given day isn’t very good news. The trick is to keep your homes insulated, which means keeping your windows insulated too.
Tricks to Insulate your Windows
There are few tricks that will help you keep warm and cozy during winter. You can try insulated window coverings to prevent loss of energy. Insulated window shades will help reduce energy loss in both directions. We have some window treatments that are well suited for both winters and summers.
If you are using drapes for your windows instead of normal linings, opt for blackout linings. Blackout linings are good as they help to increase the R-value of the drapes. In other words, it will increase the drapes’ resistance to heat loss. Higher the R-value lesser is the heat loss. This is an easy way to insulate your windows.
For your drapes, you can also choose a reflective-back lining. The lining will help to deflect the sun’s heat out of the window. These linings have a silver-colored reflective coating on one side of the linings and they are quite effective.
Insulated Cellular Honeycomb Shades
Cellular honeycomb shades are one of the best window treatments for the winter. The honeycomb design of the shades allows them to trap air in their cell pockets, creating a layer of insulation between the windows and the room. These shades are considered to have one of the highest R-value among all window coverings. You can opt for double or triple cellular honeycomb shades that will provide added insulation to your windows.
Roller & Roman Shades
If you are searching for energy-efficient window coverings for your windows then you could also consider roller and Roman shades. Roller shades are dual-sided. One side is reflective while the reverse side helps to absorb heat. The reflective side must face the warmer side. So, during winter the reflective side should face inwards to keep heat inside and the insulated side should face outwards to absorb the heat from sunrays.
Roman shades are also a great option. As they are made of fabric you can choose a thermal fabric for the winter months. Thermal fabric can absorb heat and keep it trapped inside the house.
Drapes and Curtains
If you are using drapes or curtains for your rooms, there are ways to insulate them as well. Insulated curtains are a good choice. They consist of four layers with a high-density foam layer that prevents warm air from escaping the house and cold air from entering through the windows. Also, when you are choosing fabric for your drapes for the winters, be careful. Do not opt for light-weight lace or sheer curtains as they offer no obstruction for the free movement of air. They will allow air to flow on both sides thus leading to loss of energy and heat. Make your choice from fabrics like suede, velvet or tweed. By virtue of being denser and thicker they can keep heat trapped inside.
It is not enough that you choose the right fabric or opt for insulated curtains for your windows. The mounting and fit of the drapes can make a lot of difference as well. The drapes should be mounted close to the ceilings and fall till the floor. The width should be such that they get to cover the entire breadth of the windows. Otherwise, air will escape through the side gaps.
Combination of Shades & Drapes
You can insulate your windows against heat loss by using a combination of shades and drapes. Roman shades or roller shades are as we know are extremely versatile and a good choice for the winter. If you want to make your insulation foolproof, add a drape or a curtain made of thick fabric. Use insulating drapes instead of the standard ones and you are set to defend your homes against an onslaught of the harsh cold winter.
If you are using drapes with linings then, between these two layers you can add a vapor barrier. A vapor barrier can be any product that will help prevent vapor to pass through to the next material. What this vapor barrier will do is reduce damp air in the room from coming into contact with the cool window. In its absence, during winter, cool air against cold window can cause ice buildup.
Shutters are great for preventing heat loss as they make a snug fit over the windows that prevent any air leakage. Inside mount is best as they fit closer to the windows. The closer they are to the windows better the insulation that is provided. Do away with those dropping and sagging blinds that fir poorly on the windows. Replace them with custom-made close fit shutters and give your rooms the much-needed insulation for the winters.
Prepare yourselves for the chilly winter nights. When the temperature falls below the freezing point outside it can make staying warm indoors a challenge. Be ready for the challenge by dressing your windows efficiently and wisely. Snuggle up on your sofas with a cup of hot coffee with your loved ones and feel the warmth inside while the world outside gets a makeover from the falling snow.