Covering windows indoors with rigid foam?


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Old 10-20-10, 09:53 AM
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Covering windows indoors with rigid foam?

Would covering rigid foam with quilt batting and fabric and placing in
window frame indoors be a bad idea. Already replaced windows in last 4 years, but still losing heat. New siding and foam board in last 4 years also. Already use thermal curtains. Oil going up again and only working part time, willing to spend a little now to save.
Will remove foam coverings in spring.
Catnipqueen
 
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Old 10-20-10, 10:09 AM
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Hi and welcome to the forum!

3M (and a couple other brands) sell this plastic film that you stick all around the outside of the window, and then you just pull it off in the spring. It's invisible and it does work. You can get it at any hardware store.

The problem with sticking in a piece of covered foam is the cold can still get in around the edges.
Insulated draperies help, but they need to have returns, a thermal lined shade under, and an upholstered cornice over the top to seal the air better.
 
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Old 10-20-10, 10:13 AM
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If you make them a good tight fit...yes they will help. How much would depend on the fit and thickness of the foam. Going to get pretty dark though.

Were the replacement windows quality double pane with a LoE coating?

What have you done about sealing openings (plumbing and electrical) between living spaces and the attic? Caulk and a couple of cans of spray foam can do a lot. Sealed your electrical outlet boxes? Any insulation added to the attic?
 
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Old 10-20-10, 10:44 AM
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even with new windows you may have air issues. I had a blower door test on my house and incredible amounts of air were coming from under my windows. I ripped off all the wood and voila, discovered an open cavity to the concrete block. Bought the expanding foam (blue can only so doesnt expand much) and noticed an immediate decrease in the wind.

this may or may not apply to you but it sure is worth a peek.

i also have a lot of air coming thru the lightswitches and outlets. a few bucks per package at the store and they were well worth it.
 
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Old 10-20-10, 05:00 PM
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Thankyou

Thank you for all the responses.
Walls constructed of plaster and lathe.
Very old, no studs in walls, replaced some walls already.
Kind of regret buying old place, but it was what we could afford at the time. Have put little foam things in electrical outlets and have used the foam in the cans.
Dark ok, work night shift, that's all I get except when driving home in morning.
Thanks again
 
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Old 10-20-10, 10:01 PM
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Code requires you use foil faced foam board. Any other needs to be covered by 1/2" drywall or similar.

Gary
 
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Old 10-21-10, 05:15 AM
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Not sure if this is an issue or not, in your application, but I had a customer who installed blue ridig foam board into the frames to improve his brand new windows. A week later he noticed one had cracked. His windows were south facing and he assumed the reflected heat was getting trapped between the high tech windows and the rigid foam. No way to confirm this, but he removed his handywork from the south side of this house.

Food for thought

Bud
 
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Old 10-21-10, 08:58 AM
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Code requires you use foil faced foam board. Any other needs to be covered by 1/2" drywall or similar.
Since when does a homeowner have to follow code to do things like that in their house? I never heard of that.
 
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Old 10-21-10, 11:58 AM
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Good point, Bud. I wouldn't install any in a window, faced or unfaced. Read about window reflecting the sun to distort neighbor's vinyl siding, more than one case.

Codes are the minimun safety standards, like getting a "D" grade on a test, you passed-but barely. Foam is so toxic when it burns that fire-fighters need to wear air supplied masks when entering homes now. No one will force you to cover it, just common safety sense, like driving your vehicle with ineffective brakes around your own property. You may need them sometime....

Gary
 
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Old 11-27-10, 09:26 AM
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I can vouch for the 3M window film - it works surprisingly well! Double-sided tape holds in to the wall around the window, and you use a hair dryer to remove wrinkles. If you install it properly, you can't even tell it's there.
 
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Old 11-27-10, 10:01 AM
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Windows are just a hole in a wall. Even with E-glass and films you still have radiant heat, depending on the location, so it is a hole in the walls that can be both good and bad.

In the evening, a radiant barrier (opaque) is a big help in dramatically reducing the radiant heat loss. During a day, depending on the orientation, the sun gives a beneficial gain of energy and heat.

Today, at 10:00AM, I came home and saw the front door (east facing) open with just the storm door there. Inside were two, cats laying on the floor enjoying the radiant heat when it was 10F outside. Radiant barriers can be good, but only if controlled.

I had a lake home in northern MN that had the heat set at 65 degrees because it was the most economical due to the mass of the structure. I had 4 - 6' sliding doors facing south. Despite a few days at several times with below zero periods, my heat never did come on until December 15. If I had timed drapes on a motorized control, the call for heat would have been much later.

Dick
 
 

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