insulated drapes

Will insulated drapes cut electric heating and cooling bills enough to be worthwhile?
Thanks, Puzzlement
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Does this not depend on the cost of the drapes? Cheapest might be lining your existing curtains with old army blankets (but the mrs. might not like how they felt.)
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Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
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On Fri, 27 Feb 2015 14:45:25 -0600, "puzzlement"

When we bought new drapes we went with insulated linings. (Northeast Ohio). I doubt it saves much on heat or cooling, but it does make a noticable improvement in comfort. My favorite chair is right next to a double patio door. It's a good Pella door, not drafty and has double panes, but when it's really cold out you can feel the heat being sucked right out of your body. Closing the drapes helps quite a bit. The old drapes helped a bit, but the lined ones are noticeably better.
One thing we learned...the insulated linings add a lot of weight. We had to upgrade to premium traverse rods to handle them. The standard home center white jobs weren't up to the task of opening and closing all the weight. So add the cost of that to the equation.
HTH,
Paul F.
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wrote:

Do you need drapes anyhow?
My drapes are white on the window side, to cut down absorption of heat in the summer and radiation of heat in the winter.
I suppose the same people who don't bellieve light colored shingles are better than dark shinges, or that light colored convertible tops are better than dark ones, won't believe this works either, but it does.
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On 2/27/2015 12:45 PM, puzzlement wrote:

One thing to watch out for is condensation in winter. A curtain won't help if it doesn't let the window surface get colder. You might end up with puddles of water everywhere...and mildew to go with it.
The improvement of curtains is critically dependent on limiting air flow. They need to touch the floor, wrap to the wall on the sides and have the top space covered to the wall. All of those increase the condensation problem.
Pop over to engineeringtoolbox.com and download a psychrometric chart. If your internal temperature is 70F and 50% humidity, your windows will be dripping water if the surface temperature goes below about 50F. That includes the surface temperature of the frames due to conduction or air leakage.
You can find an interesting mildew calculator at http://www.dpcalc.org Measure the temperature and humidity in your attic and crawl space. Put the numbers into dpcalc.
You don't have these problems with curtains in summer. The climate where you live matters a lot.
Back in the day, I did some experiments. Everything I tried inside resulted in condensation. I put 1" rigid pink insulation foam over the windows on the OUTSIDE and painted it to match the house. No, I'm not married ;-) That made a significant improvement. When I replaced the single-pane windows with double-pane and removed the pink foam, heating costs were similar. I didn't have any use for the pink foam, so I put it back on the windows on the backside of the house.
There are lots of computer modeling programs to predict the effectiveness of insulation upgrades. I used "resfen", but there are likely newer ones now.
http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/tools_directory/software.cfm/ID0/pagename=alpha_list
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Won't that happen for sure?

Surely that could be remedied by opening the curtains an inch, or b
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On 2/27/2015 4:32 PM, micky wrote:

Yep, I said that it would if it's doing any good.

The more you open the curtains, the less effective they'll be. But that's not the whole story. If you open the curtains in the middle, the middle of the window will get warmer, but the edges might not. You're concentrating the mildew in the areas still covered and getting colder. Any part of ANYTHING in the house that gets colder than the dewpoint will get wet. The thing right next to it may still be above the dewpoint and stay dry.
Certainly depends on the construction of your windows, but the edges of the frame will likely be the coldest part. In order to keep the coldest part above the dewpoint, you may have to get the rest of the area much hotter than you'd like.
You really want your insulation on the coldest side of the window. In winter, that's outside.
Infiltration matters. In winter, the dewpoint outside is likely lower than the dewpoint inside. Air leaking in will balance air going out and the dewpoint will be lowered inside. If you turn on the bathroom vent and crack a window on the other end of the house, the dewpoint will likely be lowered, but it sends energy you paid for right out the fan.
I got my house so tight that it flunked the blower door test. I put a small homebrew heat recovery ventilator in one bedroom to keep the air from going stale inside. Since I control the location of the air "leakage", I can get back over half of the heat. When it gets much below freezing outside, the thing becomes a solid block of ice. And that's not condensing on my windows.
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Sure, but that's where compromise comes in. I hope Congress hasn't made compromise a dirty word everywhere!

Most people aren't going to do that. For one thing, it's too hard to adjust when one wants light or the sun's winter heat on sunny days.

Sure it's nice if there is no condensation, but I've had condensation on my aluminum frames and it's never led to mold or mildew. Over a decade it's cause in some places damage to the paint on the wood window sills, but they can be easily repainted if it's a problem. I think the OP should try curtains and pay attention to what happens, especially mold. (I've also had black-colored mold elsewhere which caused no problems either. When I had time I killed it with bleach and painted it white.)
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On 2/27/2015 3:45 PM, puzzlement wrote:

A lot might depend on how tightly the drapes fit to the window and wall. If there are large gaps top and bottom then you'd just be creating a convection tunnel and would have a torrent of cold air pouring out the bottom (winter) or heat out the top (summer). I went to heavy blackout cellular shades which fit inside the window frame with very little clearance -- these seem to help with drafts in the rooms that have them. I can't really tell if they help with the utilities since I burn up so much power running five computers 24 X 7.
In Alaska I had a spare bedroom fitted out for my aquaria and made a 'blind' from 1.5" closed-cell foam insulation covered with black plastic and fitted it into the oversized window opening to provide darkness and insulation. Very effective in both although, had I been married at the time, it might not have been permissible.
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On 2/27/2015 3:45 PM, puzzlement wrote:

Possibly. Depends on how good or bad the windows are and how high your rates are. Definitely help.
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Anything will help. A thin paper pull down creates another air pocket. It also reflects infra red. It also slows down convection currents. A thicker material will add even more. I'm talking windows. Don't know what other insulation problems you might have.
Greg
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