If you recently purchased new windows, you may have been told your windows have a high “R-Value.”
R-value is the number manufacturers use to measure a material’s ability to resist heat transfer. These high R-Value windows are great, but energy efficient windows alone are not enough to battle heat loss or sunlight damage coming through.
You can use nearly any combination of drapes or blinds to help improve energy efficiency in your home. To get maximum insulating value out of drapery and blinds, hang them so they touch the window frame but not the window glass. This placement creates an air space between the window and window treatment and “seals” the barrier air into the space, so your warm air isn’t flowing in to be cooled against the window.
Drapery should hang at least four inches above window frame or with a cornice at the top to trap air. The length should be around a half inch off the floor or break on to the floor at the bottom to prevent cold air from flowing out from under them.
Roman shades and roller shades come in every shape and size, and an increasing number are available in insulating materials, such as honeycomb fabrics that use tiny air spaces to increase R-value.
Fabric window treatments do their best work in winter, keeping warmth inside but R-value can lose the battle with solar gain in the summer. It will help immensely for you to cut or eliminate sunlight that directly falls on the surface of the window. A great option for this includes reflective window film. Reflective film can be applied on your windows and increase R-value and protect your floors and furniture from sun fading. Film also helps eliminate that annoying glare on the TV screen.