MOney out the windows graphic

9 Ways to Reduce Home Heat Loss

 25% of your heat goes OUT your windows. If your heating bill is $100.00 for a month, about $25.00 of that goes directly out your windows. So, it ain’t rocket science to see that if you can reduce this one area of heat loss, you can actually see a dollar drop in your heating bill.

money out the window

3 Ways to Reduce Heat Loss through Windows.

  It’s that time of year. Again. You get to listen to my “20 to 30 percent of your heating bill is going out your windows” rant.  I had to turn on the heat the other week. But I’m going to hold out for at least two more weeks before I get out the sleep socks and the  keep-warm-in-the-middle-of-the-day-sweaters. I hate this. But I digress. If you feel a breeze around the edges of your windows or doors, if you get frost buildup on any part of your windows, and most importantly, if you can put your hand on the glass and it feels cold, you are in need of either a window tune-up, new windows or some upgraded window coverings. First of all, we measure the insulation factor of a solid wall as the R-value, which is Resistance to heat loss. Windows are actually measured with a U-rating. “U-Factor READ MORE

money out the window

Heat Loss Through Windows. Once Again

With the white stuff just around the corner. (I know it’s coming, I can see it up on the hills), I am getting more calls than last month about insulated window coverings. Or, in layman’s terms, how to keep the cold out and the heat in. I’ve written about this before, but it bears repeating. Do you understand that 25% of your heating bill is going directly out your windows?  That’s a number produced by Hunter Douglas, and one which I’ve seen backed up by several studies from the U.S. Government among others. If you think your super-dooper new windows are protecting you against this loss, sorry, they aren’t. HOW MUCH?? Yes, 25% of your heating bill is wasted. This means that out of every $100.00 you spend on your heating bill, $25.00 is going directly out the window. It’s the same as if the window was open and you READ MORE

How to Feel Cooler in the Heat

  The thermometer at 41 degrees is from my niece in Kamloops. On Wednesday the 6th. For my American readers, that’s about 110 degrees. IN CANADA FOR CRYIN’ OUT LOUD! This is a bit of a departure from my typical decor-related column, granted, but if this column helps you live better in these heat-stressed days, then I’ve been successful. People suffer in this heat. Look around. You can see the sweated brows, the slowed gait and the flushed cheeks.  It seems like no matter what some people do, they just really suffer in this heat. I know how to reduce the stress you feel because of the heat; reduce it by quite a lot, actually.  It’s so simple it’s ridiculous, yet every year I repeat this column’s intention and every year I see people I KNOW have read it suffering through. So here we go again. If you look at READ MORE

Five Things About Solar Shades

I know some of you have been thinking about the summer sun and how to protect your furniture, floors and yourself against it this year. I know because every year, in June, I get the slightly panicked phone calls: “The weather has turned and it’s going to get hot, after all!” Surprise!! This happens every year and it will keep happening. So, let’s get a jump on things and get this one off the to-do list. Here are a few things you should know when you are looking for window solar sun shades for summer sun protection. Number one, the big one, is that if you can see out, someone can see in. I get asked —  a lot —  for a sun filtering shade which will stop the sun but provide privacy. Not such a thing.  Number two; With sun shades, the more you can see out, the less READ MORE

Your Window Covering Wish List.

  I was looking at the sunrise schedule yesterday, and I see that within six weeks, dawn will be about 4:30 IN THE MORNING. The sunset times which accompany these early days drive me NUTS because early to rise means early to bed and it’s tough to nod off when the light is so bright. I know this is something which bothers so many of you, too. I know because you tell me. Often. I’d say that about 75% of the people I talk with about window coverings for bedrooms mention the early summer sun. You have a very definite wish-list about your bedroom window coverings: You want a darkening solution for the early sunlight in the spring and summer.      – this one is the day/night shade. The top is sheer and the bottom is blackout. You can cover the window with all sheer, for daytime and cutting READ MORE

blinds outside in

Solar Shades 2016

Last year I wrote the annual shade column in May. This year it seems that spring has not Sprung but rather Leaped and I’m getting more and more calls about solar shades. What I said in last year’s column was mostly about the sun and light blocking properties of solar shades and that information is still good and valid. If you haven’t read the column, read it here: “How to Choose the Right Solar Shade”. There is a picture there, too, of what the view-through is from the outside in at night.  Here’s the skinny on the options available on solar roller shades which affect their look and operability: roll, valances, cassettes and lift systems. You should understand what these are before you go out to buy shades.   Roll: Regular roll causes the shade to roll off the roller from the front back toward the window. It places the shade READ MORE

road in the summer

Three Drapes in One

A friend is posting an online countdown to spring with accompanying pictures of flowers, or fields of green, or sunshine. It’s just about the most inspiring thing I’ve seen online yet. I get a warm fuzzy feeling every morning when I anticipate standing in the sun, actually looking at all that green. I can’t wait. I know I should have lived in the tropics. Just exactly what does this have to do with design dilemmas? Well, it makes me think that spring is close. And just the other day I was talking to a gal about having summer and winter drapes. Like in the olden days. She thought it was a good idea. But the reality is that most of us don’t have the luxury of two sets of drapes. We don’t have the downstairs maids to take drapes down, clean them, fold them correctly, store them and deinstall/install  again READ MORE

woman with a fan

Beat the Heat. For Free

If I told you I could show you how to beat the heat  in your home by at least 10 degrees without fans, air conditioning or opening (or closing) the doors and window treatments and without having the lights off would you be interested? If I could show you how to reduce that temperature by an additional 10 degrees, would you think I’m nuts? I can do it. All the things I say here have been proven, not once or twice, but through several studies. 80 degrees is hot, but it’s livable. 100 degrees — not so much.  You can reduce your perception of the temperature by 10-20 degrees if you wear a light-colored natural fiber fabric in a woven cloth. Read the study here. Your heart rate will decrease, your skin temperature will drop and so will your blood pressure. Read that last sentence out loud. Seriously. Wear polyester READ MORE

layers of drapery help keep the cold out.

Layers are the Key for Reducing Heat Loss at the Window

Layers are the Key. Last column was about how much heat goes out your windows. This one is about what you can do to reduce that loss without getting new windows or a second mortgage. The key here is to prevent the cold air outside the window from meeting the warm air of the room through the use of layers. If you add layers between the window and the room, you can make a huge dent in the heat loss. Cold air will sneak in around the window covering — on the sides and above and below, so add your heat-loss prevention solutions to the largest area possible. If you are adding curtains, for example, extend them past the window frame in all directions as much as you can. That old standby plastic on the window frames can double the R-value of the window. It works about as well as READ MORE