Heat Loss, and Heat Gain: Heating and cooling accounts for 35 to 40% of a home’s energy use. According to Natural Resources Canada, 25% of a home’s heat can be lost through windows and doors. Heat loss and thermal heat gain are inherent with even the best made windows, as glass has a low R-value. (R-value is the resistance to heat flow.) Double and triple pane glass will decrease heat transfer, but will only solve the problem to the limit of the R-value glass and window frames can provide.
Properly fitted, window coverings can provide you with the necessary thermal barrier, even if your windows do not perform to at optimal efficiency. We “feel” heat loss and heat gain, so improvements directly impact on our comfort.
Improving Operating Performance: Uncovered windows are a source of wasted energy resources.
For Energy efficiency purposes we define 2 seasons:
Heating Season: Close coverings at night to control cold drafts, open during the day to warm with sunlight and have less need for electric light.
Cooling Season: This is when having white surfaces to the exterior will reflect solar heat. During this season, closing the coverings during the day especially on the south and west exposure is recommended. Once the sun has moved off the window open the covering as well as the window for ventilation.
3) Ultraviolet Light Control: Filtered light protects your eyes from glare and diffused light travels further into the room requiring fewer electric lights. Managing UV light protects your floors and furniture from fading.
The right window coverings, properly installed, can provide you with value that far exceeds light control (but this can improve energy consumption too) and aesthetic reasons we typically look to our window coverings to provide.
Smart technology and automation can monitor and adjust your coverings based on the season, weather, or your absence. This can optimize the benefit of the coverings.
Not all window coverings have the desired energy saving and comfort properties that will make a difference. To best achieve the desired properties, we recommend considering the following types of window coverings to provide comfort and energy savings:
The important considerations we discussed are as follows:
Heat loss and heat gain affecting comfort
Improved operating performance
Potential UV damage to your possessions
We can feel the difference by getting the right solution. I am willing to discuss examples of how window coverings have improved the livability of my clients’ homes over the years.
Linda Masarsky, BID