As we head into winter and the thermometer begins to plummet, you may want to consider energy efficient window covers. Yep, you heard me right, “energy efficient window covers.” Who would have thought that your window treatments would have an R-Value? Even more surprising, is that many window treatment manufacturers today actually list the R-Value on their packaging. My how times have changed!
Energy Efficient Window Covers
R-Value of Draperies
Not your mothers’ drapes! Back in the day, the sole purpose of drapes was privacy. As interior designers emerged on the scene, aesthetics became the driving force in choosing draperies. Fast forward to the modern era of energy conservation and you can add energy efficient window covers to your purchasing criteria.
In general, a lined drape will offer the highest R-Value. Typical ratings range from R3 to R5. Generally, heavier fabrics and thicker liners will have higher R-Values. For the best results install floor-to-ceiling drapes to reduce the draft around the windows.
R-Value of Honeycomb Shades
Installing honeycomb shades provides privacy as well as an improvement in energy efficiency. The air trapped within the shades creates a barrier that reduces heat transfer. Double-pleated shades can provide the same R-Value as an 1/8” thick layer of rigid foam insulation. When selecting shades, check the label to find the R-Value which tends to range from R2 to R5 with the extreme high of close to R8.
R-Value of Plantation Shutters
A new trend in interior design, is the addition of Plantation Shutters on the inside of your home. While these shutters can change the look of the room, surprisingly they can improve the energy efficiency of the room as well. Closing plantation shutters at night, when temperatures are low, can improve the insulation value of the window anywhere from R2.5 to R3.5.
R-Value of Window Films
While installing new Low-E windows is your best option, applying self-adhering window film can be a low-cost, temporary fix. The problem is that many of these films offer very little R-Value. In fact, if you already have Low-E windows, adding window film may not add any energy improvement whatsoever. You would be better served to install new Low-E, energy efficient windows.
Time for New Windows?
If energy efficient window coverings don’t provide the energy savings you are looking for, it may be time to install new energy efficient windows throughout your home.