Layering Window Treatments Means Style and Warmth

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Layering is a technique that fashionistas have long used to stretch a wardrobe, make basics transcend the seasons, and create a signature style. Well, as we all know, home decorating often borrows from fashion, so it was inevitable that such a useful tool as layering would eventually make its way into interior design.

The first criteria is that a company wants to provide window treatments that are affordable. It’s easy to make a statement like that, but it’s quite another to prove it.

However, being affordable is only half the battle; the products also have to be easily accessible. Some companies offers both an in-home service that can provide design solutions for problem windows, and an in-store option, which allows customers to bring in measurements and select fabrics on site.

Having said all of that, it’s now time to turn your eyes to the runway. The first up are shades. If they’re mounted inside window moldings, they minimize the movement of hot and cold air in and out of the window. Adding thermal linings is another way to reduce air flow. Keep in mind that air also escapes through the glass, so the more opaque the shade is, the better its ability to resist heat flow. This is known as the product’s ”R-Value”.  Shades range from R-1.6 for sheer fabrics to about 3.5 for translucent fabrics to 4.0 for opaque fabrics.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that blinds have the same ability to control heat flow. Shades are made of a continuous piece of fabric, while blinds are manufactured from slats, through which air can escape. That’s why shades are better insulators than blinds.

Next to come down the catwalk are draperies. Adding lined, floor-length draperies over shades increases insulation. To get maximum energy efficiency, drapery panels should be flush against the wall, fit tightly, and overlap in the center. This will trap air between the shade and the glass, the shade and the lining of the drapery, and the lining and the face fabric of the drapery.

Both shades and draperies should be made with light colored linings to reflect summer heat away from the house. This will also decrease window condensation because the space between the window and the draperies is cooler than the room air temperature.

The final item is the top treatment. Adding an upholstered cornice or valance will not only add drama, it will also completely trap air between the floor and the top of the window treatment. Cold air will be caught behind the folds of the drapery, while warm air is trapped at the top.

If you want to read more about these window solutions, you can find additional information in the press release the company issued. It will also give you some pointers about the features of different types of linings, and how to open and close your windows to take advantage of natural warmth. Taking advantage of these tips can make a significant difference not only in the amount of energy you use to heat your home, but also to cool it.

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