Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Bottom-Up Insulating Shades for Light and Insulation -- Our R8.3 Window

On some of our windows that we have no need to look out of, but still want some light, we use a 3/4 insulating shutter on the bottom of the window.   I like the 3/4 shutter idea because it does a very good job of insulating most of the window, while still letting a lot of light into the room.

The 3/4 shutter got us to wondering if a top-down/bottom-up insulating shade could be used in the same way -- we decided to try this on one of our windows.

Our first try at an insulating top-down/bottom-up shade.
This window is a bit odd with the triangular top, and I had to add a support board to hold the top bar of the shade in place.

This arrangement allows us to have the shade fully up at night for privacy and maximum insulation, or during the day to have the shade part way up to allow more light and views with some insulation.  Normally we would have it up more than the picture shows during the day to get somewhat more insulated area.

The new shade is from Symphony Shades and in addition to being a good double cellular insulating shade, it has side tracks that reduce air flow around the sides of the shade.

The side tracks prevent airflow around the edges of the shade.

Closeup of track showing notch in shade that track engages.
It turns out that this window already has a double Mylar inside storm window on it (bet you could not even see it :), so the total insulating value is:  low-e window (R3) + double Mylar storm (R2) + insulating shade with side tracks (R3.3) is a sort of amazing R8.3!

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