Trap heat in your home with these 4 window tips from the Department of Energy

Trap heat in your home with these 4 window tips from the Department of Energy

When the weather gets too cold outside, it's important to secure the windows in any home to keep as much heat in as possible. For those who think that custom curtains and drapes are just for show, consider the different ways that additions to the window can help keep the inside of a home warm during winter. Take the time to look over the material and setup you are using to see if you are best insulating the windows in the house.

The United States Department of Energy (DOE) has a list of ways that different window treatments retain heat. Here are some of the highlights from their advice. Since winter can be especially hard for the northeast, residents in New Jersey should especially pay attention to the window solutions they already have in place, and think of how to make them more effective:

  • Controlling heat is not the same as keeping it: Different blinds, slats and hangings will relate to heat in different ways. While the source says that window blinds are good for letting in strategic amounts of heat from the outside, it also notes that draperies are better for retaining the heat present inside the building. If you already have slats, this could affect the way you adjust them during a winter storm, and if you're considering new window treatments, a drapery might be the best choice for this reason. The site also advises against window films in the winter, since they are best for blocking heat out.

    A drapery is more effective when it covers the windows as much as possible.

  • Cover the window as much as possible: A drapery is more effective when it covers the windows as much as possible. The DOE recommends a long window addition that stretches to either the sill or the floor, extends up to the ceiling and is sealed to prevent any air escaping. If a completely sealed window is created, the source says that residents will reduce heat losses by 25 percent.
  • Use more draperies to your advantage: "Two draperies hung together will create a tighter air space than just one drapery," the source says. "One advantage is that the room-side drapery will maintain around the same temperature as the interior space, adding to a room's comfort." When shopping for heat-friendly draperies, homeowners should think in advance about which one will go where.
  • Leave space for insulation: Using a drapery doesn't mean you can't also caulk vulnerable windows or add other types of insulation to strengthen these areas of the house. Be cautious when installing insulation, though, since done the wrong way can do more harm than good.

Need more advice from a professional? Contact Metropolitan Window Fashions for a free, at-home design consultation on the best ways to keep a home warm when things get frosty outside. The draperies you use could make a big difference over time.