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This Is Part-5A Of Our multi-part article about 75+ Ways To Lower Heating CostsWith Your Existing HVAC System. 

NOTE: Part-5 Is Separated Into 3 Sections; A, B, & C.

Windows & Exterior Doors Represent Up To 21% Of Total Heat Loss/Gain.

Part-5-A discusses adding Fabric Insulating Window Coverings (blinds are discussed in Part 5-B) over your existing windows.  This achieves much higher insulating values than new, replacement windows.   Insulating window coverings have the most impact in older DFW homes with original single-pane glass + uninsulated metal frame windows.  Insulating window coverings also reduce outdoor noise entering the home.

You can add these insulating window coverings at low to modest cost — and they will pay for themselves with lower heating & cooling costs.  Depending on the existing windows in your home — these efforts may lower heating (and cooling) costs more than upgrading your HVAC.  We also discuss replacement windows, if you are considering that.  We discuss 2 replacement window brands and provide the details for each.  

Al’s Plumbing,  in Plano Texas, provides full-service plumbing maintenance, repairs, and replacements for every plumbing component in your home.  Additionally, Al’s sells and installs Rheem Professional Series gas & electric water heaters, and tankless water heaters.  We are near your home in Plano, TX;  Allen, TX; and Frisco, TX.  We service all homes in southern Collin and northeast Dallas Counties with no additional travel charges.

Call Al’s today to discuss any concerns or problems you have with your  Plumbing.  We will arrange an appointment at your convenience.

AlsPlumbing.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.


Decrease Heating Bills — Windows & Doors

Windows & Exterior Doors Account For Up To 21% Of Total Heat Loss

How You Can Have A Highly-Insulated + Low Air Leakage — With Your Existing Windows.

home with large windows

Image Source: The BestPhoto by Expect Best:

https://www.pexels.com/photo/low-angle-view-of-balcony-against-sky-323775/


What’s Discussed In Each Part:

Part-1: Locating & Sealing Air Leaks At Ceilings.

Click Here For Part 1: Part 1

Part-2: Locating & Sealing Air Leaks At Floors + Ductwork Sealing.

Click Here For Part 2: Part 2

Part-3: Burying HVAC Ductwork In Attic Insulation

Click Here For Part 3: Part-3

Part-4: Furnace Air Filter Details.  

Click Here For Part4: Part-4

Part-5-A,B,C Windows & Exterior Doors


Older DFW Homes Original Windows Have Single-Pane Glass & Uninsulated Aluminum Frame. 

Their R-Value Is <R-1 — Plus They Leak A Lot Of Air.

These Are Perfect Candidates For Insulating Window Coverings.

Image Source: YouTube Embedded Video Link

SHOWN: Typical Aluminum Window Installed In Older DFW Homes

  • Most older DFW homes were built with Single-Pane Glass & Uninsulated Metal Frame Windows.
  • These windows are aluminum with a dull finish.  Only their lower sash opens.
  • Total R-Value = .7 (7/10th).   Note: Single-Pane Glass = R-.9.  Total R-Value includes a windows frame too.  These windows’ frames offer no insulating ability.
  • These windows’ weatherstripping wore out years ago — and air leaks exist around all 4 sides of the lower sash (sash = the moving part of the window).

Click Here To See A Window Diagram With Labels: Window Diagram With Labels


Insulating Windows Coverings Increase Windows R-Value

  • 1. Keep Your Existing Windows + Add Insulating Window Coverings & Weather Stripping.
  • TIP: You can achieve up to R-13.4 with our Energy-Saving Recommendations (details below).  New replacement windows are typically rated R-3.8.
  • TIP: You can dramatically reduce air-leakage with our Windows Weatherstripping Recommendations (details below).
  • 2. Replace Your Windows. While this article isn’t about replacement windows — we provide details for those considering replacement.
  • At the end of this article, we discuss 2 brands of replacement windows — Window World (brand) & Andersen (brand).
  • Window World (brand) —  is likely the most modestly priced replacement windows available.
  • Plus, this website’s author has personal experience with Window World — and is impressed with their windows.
  • Andersen (brand) are premium windows.
  • We demonstrate that Andersen windows –are Not more energy-efficient than Window World.
  • The primary difference is the Andersen windows we discuss have a wood frame.  Window World’s windows have vinyl frames.
  • Windows with wood frames may be considered more attractive than vinyl.  This is more noticeable if the home has stained wood trim versus painted white.
  • We provide full details on each brand at the end of this article.
  • TIP: Wood windows require maintenance.  Over time, sun-fading and moisture on the glass will require refinishing of wood windows inside the home.

How To Minimize Air Leaks Along The Top, Sides, & Bottom Of The Moving Sash.

Click The Link Below To See An Old Aluminum Window — From Inside The House:

Old Aluminum Window From Inside The House (scroll down to 3rd photo)

(If Link Doesn’t Work — Copy This Into Your Browser): https://www.houzz.com/discussions/6169853/replacing-old-aluminum-window

The photo (link above) shows the gap along the sides of the window. Because the window sash (the moving part) is aligned/even with the frame — a flat weatherstrip is required.


This Weatherstrip Is Designed To Be Installed Flat

This YouTube Video Shows: 3M (brand) Silicone (material) Seal Strip (model) Door & Window Weatherstrip

It’s Installed Flat Within The Video (at time: 0:28 / 6:05).

TIP: Heating This Product After Installation Makes It Stick Better.


Weatherstrip For The Top & Sides Of The Sash (moving window) On A DFW Home’s Metal Windows

(window remains operational after weather stripped)

 

Shown: 3M Self-Stick, Semi-Clear, Silicone Weatherstrip — Also Available In White or Brown.

16.5 Feet Long Roll & Available In 2 Widths: 1.4″ & 1.75″

Click On Photo To: View Product, See Details, or Purchase From Amazon.com.

This website earns from qualified purchases.


This Weatherstrip Seals Along The Bottom Of The (moving) Sash

(window remains operational after weather stripped)

This product sticks only to the sash — it’s not stuck to the frame.

It covers the gap between the moving sash & the bottom of the window frame.

Image Source: Amazon Embedded Link

SHOWN: 118″ (almost 10 feet) Roll Of Self-Adhesive Weatherstrip.  Shown In Gray – Also Available In White & Brown.

Click On Photo To: View Product, See Details, or Purchase From Amazon.com.


TIP: If You Have Living-Space Windows That You Never Open

You Can Seal Them (indoors) With Weatherstripping Tape. It’s designed to be easily removed (if used indoors).

CAUTION: Never Tape Bedroom Windows.  They Must Be Operational In The Event Of A Fire.

Image Source: Amazon.com Embedded Link

Shown: Window Weather Sealing Tape

Click On Image To: View Product, Read Details, or Purchase From Amazon.com

This website earns from qualified purchases.

TIP:  There are less expensive brands, but this website’s author has experienced some tapes coming loose within a short time.



R-Value Of Existing, Aluminum Frame & Single-Pane Windows

Plus Adding These Energy-Saving Window Coverings.

  • Existing Window: R-0.7 (7/10 of 1%)   NOTE: Total R-Value is lower (than single pane glass R-0.9) — due to the uninsulated metal frame.
  • Up To R-6.7 with only Insulated Curtains (They offer up to R-6 – while closed).
  • Up To R-3.4  with only Vinyl Horizontal Blinds (The offer up to R-2.5 – while closed).
  • Up To R-10.1 with BOTH Insulated Curtains + Blinds (while closed).  Compared To: Existing window only R-.9.
  • Add SmartSheer (brand) Insulating Thermal Sheers R-4 — for a total of R-14.1 (with everything closed)
  • OR R-4 with only the sheers closed — and you can see outside.  Uncovered new replacement windows offer R-3.8.

How To Have R-4 AND Be Able To See Through The Windows + Minimal Room Darkening

  • R-4 SmartSheer (brand) see-through thermal sheer curtains (shown just below).   TIP: Thermal sheers are kept closed & you can see out the window.
  • SmartSheer also reduce harmful Ultra-Violet (uv) light entering the room.  TIP: The sun’s UV light fades everything it shines on.
  • This website’s author has SmartSheer curtains.  My experience is that they perform as described below.

TIP: The R-4 insulating value of SmartSheer (brand) thermal sheers —  is higher than most standard replacement windows (R-3.8).

TIP: SmartSheer (brand) Sheer (see-through) Curtain Panels are relatively new to the market — and they can be hard to find in stock, particularly in the fall.


Insulating Thermal Sheer (see-through) Curtains

Shown: SmartSheer See-Through Curtains

(for more details — see below)

When This Article Was Written — There Were 2 Brands Of Insulating Sheers. 

SmartSheer (brand) & ThermaSheer (brand). 

Both Brands’ Availability Is Hit & Miss. 

SmartSheer 4.6 / out of 5 Score From Actual Amazon Buyers — with 265 Reviews

TIP: Smart Sheer (brand) Are Available At; www.SmartSheer.com, Amazon.com, Bed, Bath & Beyond, & Ebay.com (and perhaps other retailers).

Amazon’s Website Says:

  • 100% Polyester material.
  • SmartSheer panels have 50% denser material than a standard sheer.  This higher density provides reduced heat/cool loss + reduced UV light entering the room.
  • SmartSheer’s patented fabric helps reduce heating & cooling bills.
  • SmartSheer states their product will save up to $10 each year per window in home energy costs.
  • Smartsheers must be closed for R-4 performance.
  • When closed, they increase privacy from outdoors — while allowing you to see out.
  • Thermal Sheer curtains don’t darken the room much.  Lighter colors darken the room less than darker colors.

TIP: If You Want Insulating Windows Coverings — AND Be Able To See Out The Window

These Are The Only Products Available (When This Was Written).

Image Source: Amazon.com Embedded Link

SHOWN: SmartSheer (brand) R-4.0 Thermal (see-through) Sheer Curtains.

Click On Image To: View Product, Read Details, or Purchase From Amazon.com

TIP: Click On The Image To See A SmartSheer Video — Stating The Product’s R-4 Value.

This website earns from qualified purchases.

TIP: Smart Sheer (brand) Is Available At; www.SmartSheer.com, Amazon.com, Bed, Bath & Beyond, & Ebay.com (and perhaps other retailers).


This YouTube Video Demonstrates: SmartSheer’s Insulating Window Coverings Ability To Block Cold

The Video Shows A Freezer’s Temp At 5-15F Degrees.  With SmartSheer Covering The Freezer — The Air Temp Was Between 50-60F Degrees.

The Video Also Shows An Oven’s Temp At 111F Degrees.  With SmartSheer Covering The Oven — The Air Was Between 60-65F Degrees.

Image Source: YouTube Embedded Video Link



Another Brand: Thermalogic (brand) Thermasheer (model) Thermal Sheer Curtains

3.9 / out of 5 Score From Actual Amazon Buyers — 65 Reviews (SmartSheer 4.6 out of 5)

An Amazon Buyer’s Review: “The material has a very “plastic” quality so they do not look fabulous or feel great. The second set I’ve bought in 4 years — as the plastic coating on the back (of the previous pair) started to fail and flake off after just a few washings.”

Thermasheer (brand) & Smartsheer (brand) Are Made Differently:

  • SmartSheer is 100% Polyester – with a 50% denser weave than a standard sheer.  R-4.
  • If Smartsheer’s 50% denser weave (than typical sheers) = R-4 — we estimate that a typical sheer should be R-2. 
  • Thermasheer is 100% Polyester fabric on the front side — Plus a polyurethane (plastic) layer on the back side.
  • We estimate Thermasheer’s front fabric = R-2.
  • The R-Value of the thick plastic sheet installed under a home’s drywall (as a Vapor-Retarder in northern U.S. homes) = R-.68 (nearly 7/10th of R-1)
  • We estimate Thermasheer’s thinner plastic backing = R- .5
  • Total Thermasheer R-Value Estimate = R-2.5.
  • No R-Value information is avaialble for Thermasheer.

Source: Vapor-Retarder Plastic R-Value: https://www.windsor-csd.org/Downloads/R-ValueDensitiesChart2.pdf

Image Source: Amazon.com Embedded Link

TIP: Click On Image, & Scroll To The 2nd Photo — To View How See-Through Thermasheer (brand) Curtains Are.

SHOWN: Thermasheer Insulating (see-through) Sheer Curtains.

Click On Image To: View Product, Read Details, or Purchase From Amazon.com

This website earns from qualified purchases.


This YouTube Video Demonstrates ThermaSheer’s Ability To Block Cold

  • The video below states: “Thermasheer has a “thermoplastic layer” (on the back side) to reduce cold/heat from passing through the curtain and into the room.”
  • The left image shows cold (purple) entering the room through standard sheer curtains.
  • The right image shows the same window with Thermasheer.   The center of the image shows orange (warm) air in front of the curtains.
  • TIP: You can see a little purple at the bottom of the curtains at the floor.  This is cold air entering the room at the bottom of the curtains.



TIP: Ceiling-To-Floor Insulating Window Coverings Will Further Reduce Heat Loss

Most Homes Have 8-feet / 96-inch High Ceilings. 

  • 7′ / 84″ Lenght Drapes Are The Most Common.  They Hang 1 Foot Below The Ceiling.
  • For This Reason: 84″ drapes allow the warmest air in the room to get behind the drapes.
  • From there — the air cools quickly as it flows downward along the cold glass.
  • 8′ / 96″ Lenght Drapes – Hang Just Below The Ceiling.
  • For This Reason: 96″ drapes allow little warm room air to get behind them.
  • As A Result: 96″ / 8′ Offer Increased Energy-Saving Ability (as compared to 84″ / 7′).

Modestly-Priced Insulating Window Coverings (Draperies)

  • R-Value of non-insulating curtains = .5 
  • R-Value of insulating curtains = up to 5.7
  • Insulating curtain’s R-Value is nearly 12 times that of non-insulating curtains (.5 X 12 = 6.0)

Source: https://sites.google.com/a/wrvsu.org/soro-insulating-curtains-project/home/r-value-experiment

TIP: Any window treatment with insulating ability — also reduces outdoor noise entering the home.

Image Source: Amazon.com

Shown: Nicetown (brand) Insulating Draperies — Grommet-Top Style (curtain rod shows when the curtains are closed)

Amazon Buyer’s Rating 4.7 / Out Of 5 — With 45,000 Reviews In Oct. 2022.

Available In 32 Colors.  Widths: 34″ To 80″.  Lengths: 63″ To 95″ (95″= ceiling-to-floor coverage).

Triple-Weave Fabric: Front Layer, Black Yarn In The Middle, & Back Layer.   R-Value is not stated

Click On Image To; View Grommet-Top Style, Read Details, or Purchase From Amazon.com

This Website Earns From Qualified Purchases.

TIP: A Common Guide Is To Purchase Curtains Double The Width Of The Window.

 

These Curtains Are Also Available As Rod-Pocket Style

(curtain rod doesn’t show when the curtains are closed)

Click On Image To; View Rod-Pocket Style, Read Details, or Purchase From Amazon.com

This Website Earns From Qualified Purchases.

TIP: A Common Guide Is To Purchase Curtain’s Width Around Double The Window’s Width.


Want To Keep Your Existing Curtains? 

Add Insulated Curtain Liners Instead

To Lower Heating Costs With Existing Windows — Insulated Drapery-Liners add up to +R-5 insulating value At $25. per window or less.

  • Blackout, insulated curtain liners (shown below) provide up to R-5.0.
  • R-3.4 — Today’s modestly-priced vinyl replacement windows.
  • R-3.6 — Today’s premium-priced wood replacement windows.

NOTE:

  • As with insulated curtains — An Insulated Curtain-Liner Adds Up To R-5.0 For The Entire Window (glass + frame).
  • Insulating window treatments don’t reduce Solar Heat Gain (once the sun’s heat passes through the glass — it’s inside the room.
  • Reducing Solar Heat Gain must be done with window-film — details are below.

** Source: http://www.designsewlutions.ca/r-value-and-drape-insulation/


Modestly Priced Curtain & Drapery Liners

Image Source: Amazon Embedded Link

SHOWN: Insulating Fabric Drapery-Liner (insulated draperies are also available)

Click On Photo To: View Product, See Details, or Purchase From Amazon.com.

These Are Available In 5 Colors And Up To 14 Sizes (The Color: “Grayish White” Has 14 Sizes)

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This Was Part-5A Of Our multi-part article about 75+ Ways To Lower Heating Costs — With Your Existing HVAC System.

Part-5A Discussed Insulating Window Coverings.

Al’s Plumbing,  in Plano Texas, provides full-service plumbing maintenance, repairs, and replacements for every plumbing component in your home.  Additionally, Al’s sells and installs Rheem Professional Series gas & electric water heaters, and tankless water heaters.  We are near your home in Plano, TX;  Allen, TX; and Frisco, TX.  We service all homes in southern Collin and northeast Dallas Counties with no additional travel charges.

Call Al’s today to discuss any concerns or problems you have with your  Plumbing.  We will arrange an appointment at your convenience.