Friday, November 26, 2010

Interior insulated shutters

From SFgate (the paper in San Francisco), of all places, we have an interesting 2008 article about interior insulated shutters. See, windows that are 4'x8' and consist of a single pane of glass have an R value of roughly negative a million, meaning that they actively suck heat energy into the icy blackness of space.

Seriously - if they're puttied and caulked, they're not really that bad. But insulated shutters keep light in at night, too, and the benefit is that they don't affect the outside appearance of the windows, which is really an important issue if you have traditional windows. For me, anyway.

There's a whole long list of energy conservation measures here, including many ways to improve the insulation values of windows. Most of them are lower in priority for me than sealing up the myriad holes in the basement (including several windows that are inexpertly boarded up), but the shutter thing is really intriguing. I have two big pieces of Styrofoam left over from the carriage house family room floor that are serving as insulation right now in my office, but it's not a particularly permanent solution.


  1. I have honeycomb blinds on all my windows and they make a big difference.

  2. MY middle school (Vicky Gothic Revival manor house) had these, albeit not with foam core insulation. The walls being rather thick, one pulled a a small knob on either side of the window, and these shutters unfolded to cover the panes. Retracted, they just looked like some wainscoting around the window frame. Good 19th century technology there.