Double glazing and curtains are two great ways of reducing heat loss. A well-fitted curtain can prevent the transfer of over 50% of the heat from your home through your window. A poorly fitted curtain, on the other hand, can let hot air in and cool air out. The best window coverings are those that are close-fitting. The thermal resistance of a curtain is not comparable to the surface of a glass pane, however.
The amount of heat a window can retain depends on the size and shape of the window, its location in the house and its insulation. Windows can be single-glazed or double-glazed, and they can be located in the house or on the roof. Whether a room is heated or not will also determine how much heat can be retained.
The standard way of calculating the U-value of a window is to use a standard air layer. In the case of double-glazed windows, this will be an extra layer of safety glass that has special coatings to stop heat from penetrating.
The U-value of a window can also be measured using a method called the Standard Assessment Procedure. It refers to the measurement of how much of the heat escaping from the window is transferred through the standard air layer, and how the heat is distributed. This is based on assumptions, rather than actual experimental data. The Standard Assessment Procedure is also known as the Reduced Data Standard Assessment Procedure. It is not clear if the calculations outlined in the SAP are actually based on the same tests used to measure the U-value of the windows. The SAP also does not indicate whether the calculations are based on the latest available experimental data or are simply a re-calculation of the previous results.
A related measurement is the frosted effect. A frosted effect is a type of decorative finish that can be applied to the window, especially for a front of house window. A frosted window may be suitable for a small bay window, as it will make the window appear taller, and create a soft framing effect.
A frosted effect is an excellent way to dress up an uninspiring window, and is a worthwhile alternative to an opaque finish. A frosted effect can be created by applying a ribbon braid or similar decoration to a sheer curtain. The effect can be further enhanced by fitting the curtains a pane or two from the top, hemmed below the glass.
The most important thing to remember is to fit your curtain correctly. A poorly-fitted curtain will cause a large amount of heat to escape, while a poorly-fitted blind will only reduce the amount of heat lost through the window.
The best window coverings for your home should also be able to help keep out draughts. Often, a curtain pole is used to hang curtains from, and the pole should be slightly above the window frame, to give the illusion of a bigger window.
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