How to insulate windows
I usually think that buying insulation for the ceiling is the quickest
and cheapest way to improve heating efficiency, one
article I read
suggested that I was on the wrong track. They noted that
infiltration and air leakage are the most problematic causes of heat
loss in the winter, making up around 35% of all heat lost from the
average home. Windows and doors followed behind at 18 to 20%,
then floors at 15 to 18%, walls at 12 to 14%, and finally ceilings at
10%. Clearly, fixing any holes or cracks should be your first
priority, closely followed by dealing with windows and doors.
installed double-glazed windows in our trailer, but even the air gap
between those panes of glass is a drop in the bucket.
Double-glazed windows tend to have an R-value around 2 --- compared to
a preferred R-value
of at least 13 in walls. Is there a way to
make windows more efficient without living in a cave?
Zimmy made some quick
and easy window coverings to insulate his windows when they aren't in
use. He used foam board on basement windows and some upstairs
windows (top photo), then bought quilted window blinds for windows in
his main living space (second photo.) The quilted blinds run on a
track and seal
all around the window. I estimate that Zimmy gets an additional
R-6 from his foam board (although the gaps at the edge of the foam
board may drop this down some) and perhaps as high as R-7 for his
Home Energy has a
very well put together page about different window insulation options,
including price per square foot and R-value of each. They
recommend quilted blinds like Zimmy's (which they call "insulated Roman
shades") on south-facing windows since they are easy to open for
passive solar gain on sunny days, then seal shut for the night or on
cloudy days. Insulating windows has always been on our priority
list, but after reading the statistics on heat lost through windows,
then seeing simple how-to instructions for making our own insulating
blinds, I think this project will have to move closer to the top.
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Edited to add:
Learn more about insulating and improving the efficiency of a mobile
home in Trailersteading. Now available for
$1.99 on Amazon.