With this unsual cold winter we are having in San Francisco the increase in window coverings sales is not surprising. In cold weather, windows are usually the single largest source of heat loss from our homes.
While walls vary in their insulating capacity from R12 (common building code value in cold climates) to R40 (considered super-insulated), windows may be as low as R2. High efficiency windows may reach R6 or R7.
Insulation is one of the many benefits the proper window coverings will provide you. Window treatments can provide real insulation to keep a room warm during the winter or cool during the summer. Proper selection of energy efficient window treatments will reduce heating and air conditioning costs.
Some popular choices:
Cellular shades: their construction increases insulation and reduces the effect of cold and icy air. They come in a variety of fabrics, and can be lined for a room darkening effect to create a complete black out. This will increase the insulation.
A favorite is The Honeycomb Shades. These shades have a state-of-the-art, patented, honeycomb-within it- design offering the industry’s highest level of energy efficiency. The shades are so energy efficient they can reduce energy loss up to 50%. (see picure in slideshow)
Vertical blinds: most of them have a fabric insert in the "groovers" which increases energy efficiency.
All traditional lined drapes: have good insulation against cold and heat, and can be lined with a quilt to double the insulation.
Shutters: have a great insulating value not only against cold but noise as well. Ideal for urban living.
There are also insulated window coverings available today which can provide maximum insulation using a conventional quilting techniques. It is like a blanket. It uses the warmest batting (highest insulating value) available commercially.
Recommended local sources Blind Ambition, Budget Blinds, Blinds and Designs, The Shade Store, and our very own SophiSticate Interiors.