I know some of this is off topic but here it goes anyway…I’m almost obsessed with not paying more money to the local power company or fuel companies than necessary to be warm and comfortable (or cool and comfortable). This is a hot topic (pun intended) now that those cold winds are blowing around here and we have snow. I’m especially concerned with overpaying for basic needs because we spend so much money on veterinary care and I want to eliminate unnecessary expenses. I came across this product last year called a window blanket. They were terribly expensive so I moved on. But…I liked the concept and it’s really pretty simple – if only I knew how to sew. So last year I did things to create air layers between the windows and the room they were in by, for example, (you’re going to laugh) hanging sheers closest to the window and creating a second layer by hanging clear shower curtains. My idea was to create a heavy plastic but see-through barrier that would allow sun in (for solar heating purposes) but keep the cold out. I think this worked to some extent but this year I want to do better. I mean this wasn’t the most attractive option and also it turned out that you can’t see through clear shower curtains without distortion. The distortion bugged me.
So this year I’ve found something, a product, called warm windows that you can buy at JoAnn Fabrics. It’s lightweight but comprised of several layers one of which is a vapor barrier. Now, the trick to get the max benefit from using a window blanket or this warm windows product is to be able to seal the fabric against the window or window frame to stop convection currents from sucking warm air to the window. According to the warm window company you can increase any single pane window R value (a rating of how effective insulating materials are) from something like a low R value of 2 or 3 to as high as 7 which is a very significant jump. Additional benefits of using this material include room darkening and noise reduction.
How do you get the fabric to adhere to the window frame? There are several methods but the one that sounds best and easiest at least to me is using magnetic tape that you mount on the window frame and on the material that makes up your window blanket. I forgot to mention, you don’t use the warm windows fabric by itself. You sew or somehow attach your preferred window curtain fabric to the warm windows fabric. So you can select any fabric you like. The instructions suggest that you apply the fabric to only one side of the warm windows fabric. I wonder about that…
To hang the curtains I’m thinking of using a wire instead of a rod and inserting grommets into the top of my curtain that I’ll then string along the wire. During the day I can pull the curtain to the side and use a tieback to hold it to one side of the window. What I really think would be neat is a solar-driven pulley mechanism that opens the curtains when it’s light and draws them closed on when it’s dark.
Okay sewers and inventive, creative types…what do you think? I wonder how someone with more skill and experience would approach making these window blankets? If you want a really clear explanation of warm window fabric blankets can be found here…http://www.warmcompany.com/wwhdwr.html
Now if anyone out there can work out how to use solar energy to run a curtain pulley please post something here!!!