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Insulating existing windows


Superorb's Avatar
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07-12-12, 01:56 PM   #1  
Insulating existing windows

Hey all. I just moved into a townhouse (built in 2005) and I'm having a huge problem with the place heating up; I can feel the heat radiating through the windows even on a cloudy day. They're obviously not very efficient. I don't need to see out of any of the windows on the top floor, so I'd like to some how insulate the inset space of the windows. I work from home and spend 10+ hours a day at home and the a/c runs nonstop. I've tried putting contact paper on the window glass itself, but the heat still radiates through just like before. I was looking at the 1" thick polystyrene sheets, but it would be roughly $10 per window as the area needed to fill is 34"x58". I'm tired of sweating throughout the day. Ideas?

EDIT: What about the radiant barriers on rolls, or the polystyrene sheets with the foil lining on one side? Obviously I can't point the foil side outward or I'd have the HOA on me fast.


Last edited by Superorb; 07-12-12 at 02:13 PM.
 
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07-12-12, 02:01 PM   #2  
Rigid foam was my first thought, heavy drapes the second.

 
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07-12-12, 02:12 PM   #3  
The problem with drapes is that the heat still goes through the window, and since heat rises it just floats up above the drapes.

By rigid foam do you mean the polystyrene sheeting I mentioned?

 
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07-12-12, 02:20 PM   #4  
Yes, the same thing you had already considered.

 
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07-12-12, 02:23 PM   #5  
I'd have to get 4'x8' sheets since the 2'x4' sheets are too small. Any advice on cutting them? I'll have to do it in the Home Depot parking lot since there's no way I can attach a 4'x8' styrofoam sheet in or on top of my small wagon. Also, would the ones with the foil lining on one side work any better than the ones without it?

 
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07-12-12, 03:15 PM   #6  
How about installing some dark window tint?


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07-12-12, 03:23 PM   #7  
The landlord said no to window tint and yes to anything that could be removed and wasn't permanent. I'm already insulating the garage door this weekend.

 
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07-12-12, 09:48 PM   #8  
The landlord said no to window tint and yes to anything that could be removed and wasn't permanent.
Window shades - not blinds - are removable. You can get them in light-blocking from the big box stores or almost any window treatment company.

 
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07-12-12, 11:26 PM   #9  
Window shades - not blinds - are removable. You can get them in light-blocking from the big box stores or almost any window treatment company.
The windows already have those imitation wood slat blinds in place. The shades go in place of those? I just don't see them blocking the heat.

 
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07-13-12, 04:02 AM   #10  
2" XPS may work, but you gotta paint it for the exterior view. My largest concern with using XPS would be the heat build up between the window and the XPS. It could shatter the glass, and the landlord may not like that, either.

 
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07-13-12, 05:55 AM   #11  
Window tint (DIY kits) are easily removable. You can pick up these kits in the automotive section of most major department stores.

Even the pro installed tine is easily removeable (my buddy had to remove his on the spot to avoid a too dark tint ticket).
I would consider that as an option as well. Would look better then foam board.

 
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07-13-12, 04:53 PM   #12  
The windows already have those imitation wood slat blinds in place. The shades go in place of those? I just don't see them blocking the heat.
Adjustable blinds do not block much heat because air can move between every slat. A full, one-piece covering with a window shade designed to do that and carefully fitted to the window will block much more heat. We manage ours successfully with just light-filtering shades.

You might be surprised, and it's a relatively low-cost investment.

 
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07-13-12, 05:02 PM   #13  
Yeah that makes perfect sense. How much do they normally run per window? Just a ballpark is fine. I just don't want to be stuck with shades that I can't use anywhere else once I move.

 
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07-13-12, 05:14 PM   #14  
Well that's the nature of shades, isn't it?

There are too many variables, including the size of each window, the style and material, and the way you choose to install them (internal or on the face) for anyone to give you an estimate in a forum. Best way is to decide what you want and stop in at big orange, big blue or a blinds-and-shades store, with your measurements, for a price. Sorry.

 
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