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Window Quilts/ Insulated Shades etc

Post in 'The Green Room' started by suematteva, Oct 23, 2006.

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  1. suematteva

    suematteva New Member

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    The other day picked up a brochure on the "warm window" insulated shade system. http://windowquilt.com/

    Any one have experience with the effectiveness of them?..Was thinking about using them on a couple of the sliders and bigger windows..read the brochure and it only lists test data for single pane windows...we have either double or triple panes...Thanks for input.

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  2. MrGriz

    MrGriz New Member

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    Disclaimer: I own a flooring and window coverings company.

    I don't have any direct experience with this brand. They did just send me some info on becoming a dealer for them, but I haven't looked into it yet.

    In general, window treatments have four functions.
    1. Light control
    2. Insulation
    3. Privacy
    4. Style

    Different types of treatments do a better job of each function. The ones that tend to do a better job of insulation are those that "trap" a layer of air and "insulate" the window. To do this effectively, they need to be properly fitted to and installed in the window opening. That being said, there are obviously styles of window treatments that do a better job of trapping air. Blinds for example, by design, do not do a good job of trapping and holding air; they do offer good light control though. The solid nature of the insulated shade should do a good job of trapping air and creating that "insulation zone".

    You can think of it kind of like installing the plastic kit over your window to "seal" it for winter. The window treatment does not do quite as good a job of "sealing" as the plastic, but gives you the flexability to open and close, etc...

    I hope that helped shed some light :p on this for you.
  3. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    I used Window Quilts for years - probably the entire 80's and 90's.....they work incredibly!

    Made an incredible difference in bedrooms and other areas where you want to feel warm...slows down drafts, etc.

    At the time, they ran in plastic side tracks which kept them really tight to the frame. I think they have changed that.
  4. Harley

    Harley Minister of Fire

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    Not that brand, but I have one insulated cutain that is in front of a sliding glass door in a spare bedroom.... it does work great, both for heat and cold.
  5. suematteva

    suematteva New Member

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    Glad you didn't say(edit saw) the bike was parked on it!!
  6. Harley

    Harley Minister of Fire

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    LOL.... nope The insulated curtain is in a spare bedroom on the second floor. The Harley hibernates on the first floor. Even I'm not crazy enought to ride it up a flight of stairs (not indoors anyway)
  7. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    We have cellular blinds by Comfortex. They are on the inside of the window but don't have a track. Comfortex sells a model with tracks, but I don't think the tracks play nice with tilting windows. They are translucent, but I think the mfr claims R3 (not positive). Those window quilts look better from an energy point of view, but more hard core (to me).
  8. Webwidow

    Webwidow Member

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    Like Craig said we used them in for years in South Jersey with older double hung Anderson. Pros: Worked well, lasted many years. Enjoyed them in the bedrooms. Cons: My concern is if your sliders are side by side. The quilts are on a track and work best if your windows open up and down not side side. Point being is that the quilt would always be fully open if you wanted to open the window. Yes I know this is winter but you will be using these year round. The ones we had (the original) fully blocked out the light, a consideration if thinking about keeping them closed during the day. We also had them in a sunroom on an angle, they popped off the tracks and never worked well. Nice product for the right application. However, times have changed, MrGriz would be the expert in this field.
  9. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    When we first moved in here, see my house post , my wife made insulated drapes, which worked well. We opened them in the morning to allow the passive solar gain and closed them late afternoon to prevent the solar gain loss. Common facing material,backed by rock wool insulated material. For sliding glass doors, we found out two additional issues had to be addresed.
    First, natural heat convection was getting trapped behind the curtians and exiting at floor level, as cold air . The chimney effect in reverse. Solution #1, was to build valance boxes above the window that closed of the top convection currents and deflected them in front of the curtain. Our second solution was to make floor draft stoppers circular cloth tubes filled with sand and sawdust. Used to gather around the bottom of the drapes in front of the sliders. The old alumium sliders are leaky as are most today. If one prevents the entrance and exits of draft, that solves a lot of heat loss. Today, all these 4 sliders have been replaced, with modern tighter alternatives. The last two, I replaced this spring.

    I would imagine a curtain or shade recessed within the window recess would accomplish the same thing.
  10. DeanBrown3D

    DeanBrown3D New Member

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    Can you not duct-tape a couple of pillows over the window?

    ;)

    (J/K. Actually, almost worth doing this just to see the look on the wife's face when she see your 'handywork' )
  11. suematteva

    suematteva New Member

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    Good thing we got the wood shed, would have to throw some eats, beers and the sleeping bag out there for the night...It would be pretty funny...

    Maybe send that one in to Foxworthy for next years calendar..
  12. Dave58

    Dave58 New Member

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    Our last house had Window Quilts and they were amazing. We are gradually adding them to our current home. In cold weather the room with the slider out to our deck was freezing until we added the Window Quilt. Now it's just like an interior room - you can feel the difference immediatly when the shade is lowered. The R-value is so good that the the manufacturer is certifing them for the new energy tax credit, so we plan to buy some more this fall.
  13. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    Welcome to the forum Dave. Do you think the energy savings alone justifies $20/sq ft?
  14. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    I have no doubt that they can work very well. For us, living in the woods and on a small lake, the last thing we wanted to do though is cover up any windows. We have no blinds, shades, etc. on our windows, but we did spend the big $ and get very high quality windows (R-8) to replace all of our windows in our 1950's house. No drafts, no cold air wash, with views that match the environment in which we live -- and are a joy through which to watch the orioles, deer and grouse in summer and the howling, blowing snow at -35F in winter with chickadees at the bird feeder.
  15. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    We bought our 50s era house for the view as well, and as my wife puts it so eloquently, the view with your back to the house. I replaced all the single pane glass as part of the rebuild with decent low E wood frame windows. Your point is well taken about the value of the view; I suppose the additional cost of the distribution system for the boiler is worth it. And, at $20/sq ft for the blinds which would be $18K for all of our glass, I can scrounge and process a lot of firewood.
  16. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    The house is heated with a wood stove, and part of the bargain with wife was to have a warm house - that was the reason for the new windows and she can keep the house as warm as she wants with the stove, never a disagreement. Stove wood for the 2011-12 winter already is in the wood sheds.
  17. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

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    You may want to check out double cellular shades with side tracks. I bought some and they look a lot more conventional than the window quilts and the claimed R value is about equivalent. I also like that they dont take up a lot of room when pulled up (unlike window quilts). The edges of the shades have a slit running down the middle which slides over a fixed track that is attached to the window casing. They also qualify for the federal tax credit. http://symphonyshades.com/comfortracks.html. I have simliar shades without the side tracks in my office and they also worked pretty well, but I did notice some drafts on the edges. I look forward to seeing how the new ones work in cold weather. The side tracks actually attach via a magnet to the window casing so they can be removed if they get in the way of a tilt in type window. The only limitations is that the window casings need to be straight with no more than 1/8 of inch width variation and that you need a minimum of 1-1/2" recess in the casing.

    I bought the new ones for a bedroom and like to have the ability to block out all the light for sleeping, I got the light blocking versions and they work real well with almost no light "leaks".

    Pricing is similiar to a standard double cellular blinds with about 10% added for the side tracks, with the tax credit they will be less than a standard double cellular so the tracks dont actuall cost more in the long run. The website has a pricing calculator but they are in the $100 per window range. THey are made custom for all windows. I agree that from an energy savings point of view the payback is marginal, but considering I wanted to have some sort of window treatments on my windows the incremental costs over the alternatives is reasonable.

    I have no financial interest in selling these, but am a satisfied customer so far.
  18. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    I'm looking at every source of heat loss as part of the boiler/storage sizing process. I wish I could get away with just replacing/upsizing the wood stove but I don't think I will ever get the heat distribution right and I also want to get rid of the LP water heater. I have considered a high-efficiency/insulated electric water heater and to use the electric baseboards to supplement the heat in the rooms the wood stove heat will have a harder time reaching. It would be a lot less money and simpler than the boiler solution.
  19. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    If you decide on an electric hw heater, be sure to consider the following:
    1) raise up off the floor on a 2x6 frame and insulate underneath
    2) add 6" fiberglass around the outside and on top
    3) add heat traps on both the cold supply and hot water pipes
    4) insulate all hot water pipes to the maximum extent

    All of that should cost less than $100. By doing these, we cut 50% from our electric usage for hot water.
  20. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    Thanks Jim...will do either way, The only difference is whether it has a coil for the boiler or not, Solar dhw is pretty attractive as well,,,maybe two coils,
  21. Dave58

    Dave58 New Member

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    I do. Fuel has been up and down over the years and we have had them long enough to have recovered way more than the initial cost. They save a lot of energy due to the R-value alone, over 1.25 gallons of oil per year at our 7,700 degree day location. Plus the house is alot more comfortable with the quilts covering the cold windows, so we can set the thermostat lower and that saves tons more energy. They also keep the house cooler in summer. By the way, they are certified for the 30% tax credit, so the cost is actually $14.00 per square foot.
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