Windows are extremely important features of every house, so much so, that it is impossible to imagine a dwelling without them. The designs of the windows, their materials and colors have a huge impact on the beauty of the façade. That’s why architects and engineers of all generations strive to give windows a special appearance. There is another important but oft overlooked aspect of window design that keeps architects busy for long. That is the insulation of the windows. Today we will discuss how to insulate windows so that they can ensure maximum comfort for you and your family members.
Before sharing windows and doors insulate ideas, let’s understand why proper insulation is so important for your house. Proper insulation ensures a more soothing interior atmosphere – cool enough in the summer but comfy warm in winter. Insulation helps reducing the heat transfer from one side of the window or door to the other. You can also maintain a healthier and more controlled interior atmosphere.
Since it prevents leakages of air and heat, your ambience feels more comfortable. This helps you design a more energy efficient home. Naturally, it has a positive impact on your energy bill. The technological advancements such as the ones seen in the Passive Houses depend heavily on proper door and window insulation to work properly.
Insulation does not cost you much compared to other aspects of design and décor. The starting price could be as low as $50 CAD per window. But it serves you for a long time and you get magnificent returns on your investment over the years.
Before you find out more about how to insulate window frame, take time to invest in windows, doors and skylights with following qualities. When designing a new house, refurbishing an old one or replacing the old windows, choose window types that are best for insulation. Unlike what many people may consider, casement windows provide the best insulation. Awning windows are also excellent for this purpose. Natural wood provides best insulation to the interiors.
Buy windows, skylights and doors that are tested by Canadian Standards Association (CSA). The association rates the quality of the fenestration depending on the following factors:
The U-factor which signifies the heat transfer.
R-value – resistance to the transfer of heat.
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) – it signifies the amount of natural heat that can transfer through the windows.
Visible Transmittance (VT) – The quantity of natural light that passes through windows or doors.
Energy Rating (ER) and Glass Rating.
Some windows and doors sold in Canada can have ratings provided by the National Fenestration Rating Council in the United States.
Double and triple glazed windows provide better insulation. Metallic coatings are often used as thermal barriers. Warm edge or plastic spacers that come with many modern windows prevent loss of heat from the interior atmosphere. Krypton and argon, two different types of inert gases, are used to create a thermal barrier in the double and triple glazed windows. Glass with reflective surfaces and thin plastic films that prevent the absorption of heat often increase the energy efficiency of your building.
How to insulate windows for winter? Is this a question that is bothering you for long? May be, you have small kids at home and you don’t want them to catch cold. A cozy home feels more comfortable and secure. Well these tips will help you enormously in this respect. Check the existing calking and weatherstripping of the windows and doors. They tend to develop cracks after a period of time. If that’s the case, remove them and do fresh caulking to prevent leakage of heat.
Invest the window films that not only prevent heat escape to the outside, but also design a cooler living space in the summer. They regulate the intake of natural light. Many older homes are built with double doors or have storm windows installed. They help the interior atmosphere retain its heat in the winter making it healthier and more comfortable for everyone.
There are some low cost ways to insulate windows as well. Decorate your windows with two separate layers of curtains. Make sure to use a heavy fabric for one of the layers. Stylish satin, damask, taffeta or velvet could be very useful for this purpose. You may invest in cotton curtains with heavy embroidery as well. This will block the loss of heat through the doors and windows to a great extent.
Many people consider using bubble wraps to cover the glass panels an easy way to insulate windows. This might be a short term solution. You may use tinted plastic sheets instead of bubble wraps as well. Questions have been raised about the window insulation film effectiveness. They are one of the most cost effective insulation methods. How about taking some time out to design draught excluders for your windows? They are an old fashioned but effective way of insulating the home.
It is no secret that modern homes are starving for space, well, mostly. So it is important to reclaim every unused corner of the home and make best use of it. One of the main objections about using basements or turning it into a well decorated apartment is its cold and damp interior. If you are suffering from the same problem, then it is time for you to invest in quality insulation and make this space one of the most loved corners of your home.
Commercially available plastic films can be used to insulate the windows. They are easily available and very cheap. You can order them online as well. Window insulation kits are available in the market as well. If you are a hobby designer or DIY fan then you can have lots of fun using the kit in your basement. Many homeowners prefer investing in fiberglass insulators. They don’t need frequent changing like bubble wraps or thin plastics. Foam insulation is a commonly used technique as well. It would cost you about $2 CAD per square foot.
Don’t ignore the insulation of the walls, flooring and ceiling. Fiberglass, mineral wool or natural fiber is used to insulate these areas. Concrete blocks are useful for new homes. You can use them if you are considering renovating the walls of the basement. Rigid foam made of polyurethane, polystyrene or polyisocyanurate provide excellent insulation to the interior and exterior walls. Straw core insulation is an eco-friendly way of making your basement more comfortable and energy efficient. All of these products can be easily used in other parts of your house as well.
There are some low cost ways to insulate doors of your home as well. We have already discussed about using double layers of curtains, reflective plastic films on the glass and draught excluders. They are useful for insulating your doors as well. Invest in quality door material and hardware that help you design an energy efficient home. Install door closers in the interior and exterior door ways to prevent heat from escaping through the passages and corridors of your house. Check the caulking and weatherstripping regularly to ensure there are no signs of cracks and furrows on them. As soon as you see any signs of cracks, don’t hesitate to replace them.