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DIY Insulated Blinds  RSS feed

 
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I have a mudroom which I use as a place to winter over my plants until my greenhouse is built. It is unheated except for electric space heater and leaving door from house open a crack. I have the space heater plugged into a thermocube plug so it doesn't come on above 40.

The mudroom has lots of windows so I want to make insulated blinds for them. I'm wondering about the insulating material for these-I'm planning on bubble wrap as I have it, but I may also be able to find some cheap bedspreads at the thrift store that I could use for insulation material. Has anyone here made any insulated blinds with either material? If so how did they work for you? As I said I'm leaning towards the bubble wrap as I have it, but will look for quilts if they will prove superior over the long run.

I plan on a nice outer fabric on room side (purchased at yard sale), insulation material and then waterproof curtain backing. I'm also intending on either magnetic tape on bottom or hooks to secure the blinds close to the wall so heat doesn't come up behind them.

Thoughts before I take the plunge?

Carolyn

 
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Location: NC (northern piedmont)
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Bubble wrap stuffed between thrift store sheets to form a lightweight window "quilt"? My concern would be condensation on the inside of the windows, but I really have no idea if it would be an issue.
 
pollinator
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I use honeycomb shades and if I keep them all the way down I do get frost on the inside of the window during winter.
 
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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Carolyn Miller wrote:I have a mudroom which I use as a place to winter over my plants until my greenhouse is built. It is unheated except for electric space heater and leaving door from house open a crack. I have the space heater plugged into a thermocube plug so it doesn't come on above 40.

The mudroom has lots of windows so I want to make insulated blinds for them. I'm wondering about the insulating material for these-I'm planning on bubble wrap as I have it, but I may also be able to find some cheap bedspreads at the thrift store that I could use for insulation material. Has anyone here made any insulated blinds with either material? If so how did they work for you? As I said I'm leaning towards the bubble wrap as I have it, but will look for quilts if they will prove superior over the long run.

I plan on a nice outer fabric on room side (purchased at yard sale), insulation material and then waterproof curtain backing. I'm also intending on either magnetic tape on bottom or hooks to secure the blinds close to the wall so heat doesn't come up behind them.

Thoughts before I take the plunge?

Carolyn



I ended up with some BIG bubble bubble wrap after being sent a family trunk by UPS. I've never bought any but because it was here I'm using it in a few windows....really just laid on the inside glass and the condensation holds it in place, and then later it freezes in place. All of our windows have curtains made from sheets. It is amazing how much difference just thin cloth makes. Because they are large flat sheets they gather up nicely and that holds in even more heat........or holds out even more cold
I imagine bedspreads would work even better than sheets. I think having an air gap helps a lot so I would still lean towards the bubble wrap as a separate layer right on the window....then you could leave it in place when you open the curtains for sunlight for your plants.
I assumed you would be opening the shades during the day but maybe not? Your idea sounds like it would look very nice. I think I would worry about condensation as Joe mentions and then mold on the cloth, maybe..........do they need to be washable?
I always intended to make a Roman Shade for the double doors to a sleeping porch off of our bedroom........I have the directions still, but what is up again this winter is a couple nails with a quilt stretched across
 
pollinator
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I used foil bubble wrap for our blinds (its just bubble wrap with silver foil on one side- I think tis commonly sold for loft insulation- I acquired a roll from somewhere). We have double-glazed windows anyway, and I just put the blinds up in winter- there is magnetic-strip on the edges of the blinds and they 'stick' to the window frame. This forms quite a good seal, so I don't get too much condensation at all (it depends how warm the house is when I put the blinds up in the evenings I guess- I take them down everyday as they're in the lounge!). The foil makes the room 'look lighter' as night as well, by reflecting all the light around.
 
gardener
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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Styrofoam with fabric glued to it makes a great insulation. Depending on the shape of the framework, some 2x2 or other wood may need to be added to create a means of attachment. If thick fabric is used for the edges, a good seal can be made.
 
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Location: Asheville NC
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They can make a big difference in energy performance but too often at the expense of durability. If they are not completely in touch with the glass (good luck), condensation can be a big problem. Water soaking into the parts of the window can lead to rot and premature failure of the inner glass to spacer seal.

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I'm using reflectix (foil bubble wrap), wool felt, and then canvas for the blinds I'm making. Will report back after they're up and I've given it a good test.
 
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Here's my article on my homemade moveable insulation roll up shades. I have been using them for over 25 years. Sundug
http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/Conservation/ThermalShades/ReflectexShade.htm
 
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Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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Just something that happened to me. For the windows that don't face the sun insulated blinds work pretty good but I used cloth with batting. But for the windows that faced the sun. On really sunny days the heat buildup between the insulation and the window caused the window seal to break and one window cracked.
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
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Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
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What kind of window? Mine are triple glazed, I think, and like I said, there can be a lot of frost on the inside when the shades are down. The bottom is vinyl so you can easily wipe off the mold that does tend to accumulate there.
 
Doug Kalmer
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The idea is to have the shades open when the sun is shining in the window, to gain heat in cold weather. Exterior shading should be used to keep sunlight from entering the windows during warm weather. Depending on interior shades to keep the sun's heat out is inefficient- the heat's already in the building. My shades are used with Insulated Glass Units (IGU`s) meant for sliding glass doors. They are double pane. By building the window frames myself to fit the Standard IGU size, I saved a bunch of money on an expensive part of building a direct gain solar home.
 
Heather Hemphill
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Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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I wasn't always home to open the blinds on a sunny day. We were away when my window cracked. But when we are home I would open them during the day.
 
Doug Kalmer
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Heather Hemphill wrote:I wasn't always home to open the blinds on a sunny day. We were away when my window cracked. But when we are home I would open them during the day.


The use of reflectix with the shiny side out would reflect more of the sun's heat, probably preventing those problems. There have been rare occasions where my shades were down in sunny cold weather, and nothing happened.
 
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