Long window wall in small room - insulate yet preserve light?
le grabJanuary 5, 2013
What should I use for window insulation and yet preserve as much light as possible? The room is where my husband sits to watch TV in the evenings, and it gets slightly cool. It is a small room off of the living room - just 14' long, and shallow and standard 8' ceiling. I think what I need is a rod that provides for as much stack-back as possible, so to keep the windows clear during the day (and summer) for light, but draw-able for insulation in the evenings. Privacy is not an issue.

I have four custom flat panels - really nice heavy linen, lined. I could conceivably remake them to accommodate pretty much anything except tab tops (no extra fabric for that). I'm thinking that grommets might stack back better than some other ideas, but I keep thinking that the rod supports (and it will be a pretty long rod) will get in the way of sliding the grommets.

Can anyone come up with a novel idea that is eluding me? Sure would appreciate it!
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Cancork Floor Inc.
I'm not sure if there is a heat source in this room. If so, where is it? A few more photos would be helpful. How old are the doors in that room? Are the outside weather strips in good shape? What about the weather stripping on the door jams? If the doors are older than 10 years, then you may want to look at switching them out for updated heat retention doors with heavy insulation and double glazed windows.

These are the areas that cause heat loss - not the windows per say. Heat leaks out where there are "breaks" in the insulation (ie. the wall) and not so much the windows themselves.

Using window hangings as insulation may not do the job you were hoping for. To get the effect you are looking for, you would be looking at "tapestry" - a wall rug - to do what you are trying to achieve. This is what was hung in castles throughout Europe to keep the chill out of the air. The tapestries were/are MASSIVE and several hundred pounds of thick wool (I've seen several....they are upwards of 10 feet high and 20 feet across). You are better off investigating the insulation AROUND the doors.

Another option, is to change the flooring...of course I'm going to recommend cork. The insulation of cork is extremely high. It is matched only by sold rubber! By the looks of that carpet, you have a Berber (low pile = low insulation). I'm not sure what level of underlay you have for the carpet. Most Berbers (being a lower cost rug) are often coupled with lower cost underlay. This may or may not be true in your case...but I think you may want to have a peak underneath that carpet. If your feet do NOT sink deep into the floor, then you are almost guaranteed to have a lower end underlay. To make things worse it most likely is sitting on the cement = heat loss = very cold. If the subfloor is above grade and is wood, check the insulation UNDER the floor (ceiling of the rooms below)...you may get away with insulation the floor from underneath.

In summary, check the weather seals on the outside of the doors. Then check the specifications of the doors themselves. Thirdly, have a look at the carpet and it's part as to making this room "chilly".

In the end, choose which one to work on first and then replace it! Sadly, I don't think drapery will help very much...not unless you hang thick, floor-ceiling felt or woolen tapestry.
    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 10:19AM
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le grab
Thanks so much for your insights and suggestions. I'm reasonably satisfied that things are tight and secure as reasonably possible as this room is a result of a recent remodel. It is heated with two gas/forced air heat vents. I think the chill - and I should mention that it's not horrid - comes because the chair is necessarily very close to the glass - a function of the shallow space.

Of nearly equal importance is something I didn't mention, and that is the worry about fabric fading. In the summer, there is a retractable awning on that deck just outside the door - in winter the full force of day comes through those windows. Makes the room nice and sunny and warm during daytime hours - come evening, not so much.

Your very thoughtful response is really appreciated! And I'm gonna double check everything tonite.
    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 11:07AM
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