The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Increase R-value with indoor insulation panel

caulking a window
These windows were salvaged from an old high school by a neighbor. He kept them in storage for years with the intention of building a green house, but eventually decided to drop the indoor garden dream and gave several of them to us. Thank you Bill Boyd.

It feels good to put salvaged material back to work, but I wonder how much heat we'll lose compared to putting in double pane windows? The plan is to make some sort of indoor panel with attached insulation that can be inserted in place to keep in more heat at night.

I'm thinking some of that thin plywood with a layer or two of Reflectix might work.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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One option is to add secondary glazing. A pane of plexiglass on the inside would do the trick without hindering light ingress. It would have to be removeable or hinged.

Another alternative would be to add shutters on the outside. That would add a nice visual touch as well. And they wouldn't clutter up the inside when not in use. You could go for traditional wooden ones, but I'm not sure how effective these would be.

A layer of PU foam (say about 3/4" thick) laminated between two thin sheets of formica (2/64" per ply would be plenty) would make a very light and well insulated shutter. Especially with some sealing strip glued on the side facing the window when closed, which would help keep out draft.

Comment by Roland_Smith Thu Oct 7 17:42:19 2010
Exterior shutters do make more sense than indoors ones. Especially with all of our plants in the way, putting up shutters inside could be a job! Thanks for the suggestions.
Comment by anna Thu Oct 7 18:48:59 2010

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