Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Winter Windows

I like light, sunshine, all that. Growing up in the midwest we had long, long stretches of gray weather in the Winter. Here, we get sunshine fairly regularly. It's so nice! Still, the days are so much shorter in the Winter, so I want to let in as much of that sunshine as I possibly can.

This week I began washing windows, just to remove any dust or dirt that would keep out that precious sunlight. When the weather turns cold, we'll remove screens too. It makes the rooms much brighter.

On the other hand, windows are a big source of heat loss. We want to do what we can to keep the propane in the tank and the firewood in the woodpile. We have pretty good windows - double paned and nice and tight, but we're going around with the caulk gun, checking for gaps that might have formed.

I'm also looking at designs and gathering materials for window quilts. Once I get those going, I'll do a post! Basically, it's a thick window covering that helps to slow down the transfer of heat/cold through the window. There are all sorts of them on the market - some with vapor barriers, reflective backings, heat-absorbent backings...but mine will just be 'quilty'. I'm going for simple, and do-able, and affordable.

I've been learning about something super-simple called a 'heat catcher' as well. More on that once I get one made and try it out!

What have you been doing to prepare for Winter?


Anonymous said...

Have you looked at Insul Bright as an option for your window quilts? I bought some to make a thermal protective pad between my cheapo vinyl table cloth and my grandma's dining table. It is thin and drapable, and about $1.99 a yard. It is thin polyester batting on both sides, needle-punched to a mylar inner core. I think you would get really good insulating value from it without too much weight.


tenthingsfarm said...

I will look into that - thank you, homesteph!

For the first two, I'm actually using quilts I already have. They will be my learning curve, and I'm sure that once they are up, I will have a better sense of what I want/need/like/dislike.

Mostly, I want to keep this fairly simple. I'm trying to use things we already have too. Also...our windows are fairly new, nice and tight, so the simple ones may be enough for us.

Again, thanks so much for the info. :)

mentalutopia said...

We put fleece over our north-facing windows and black plastic over portions of our south-facing ones to capture some solar heat. In between the glass pane and the black plastic you get a solar oven effect going and the hot air rises out a gap on the top. The drawback is that you've blocked out the light, but if you only cover part of the window you can still get the bet of both worlds--heat and light from the sun.

tenthingsfarm said...

This 'heat catcher' thing I'm going to try is similar to what you're doing with the black plastic. However, I think it'll let more light in - more soon! :)


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