Need an Inexpensive Large Window Insulator

I am seeking a reasonably priced way to make my prow front large double story windows more energy efficient at night. My small chalet has a beautiful view and a southern exposure for daytime passive solar gain, but the double pane fixed windows should be covered at night to retain indoor heat. Some of the windows have odd angles. Attempts at standard battery operated shades have resulted in price estimates of over $30K. This exceeds my DIY budget reality.
q need an inexpensive large window insulator
  7 answers
    • Ifixstuff Ifixstuff on Dec 28, 2017
      Thank you Janet for your hints on how to insulate apartment windows. Unfortunately my windows are so high up, none of those fixes would work in this application. I need to be able to let in the passive solar during the day (no covering) but seal up the windows at night so prevent the loss of heat.

  • Liz Liz on Dec 27, 2017
    affix several small pulleys along the frame. Like a fan. if you know how to sail, mount it on the lower horizontal portion of our windows and run the sail up at night. you can make insulated curtains for your windows with foil linings. This type of curtain was originally designed and plans sold about 35 years ago. It had magnets that firmed gripped it to the frame.

  • Ifixstuff Ifixstuff on Dec 27, 2017
    I do not sail but will look up the reference to a "fan" so I can better understand what you are saying. I do have room at the bottom of the windows to create a "box" to store all this paraphernalia. Thanks! Now, where does one find that foil material to make the "sails?" I do sew.

  • Ifixstuff Ifixstuff on Dec 27, 2017
    Hmmmm...mainsail, headsail, and spinnaker sail. Need a little help here...thanks in advance...Also, I see the MAST and the BOOM but would need a very thin but highly energy-efficient material to be able to gather it all up into the bottom in folds (where a boom-like area would be). Raising it using pulleys would not be a problem. Regular sailing canvas would be too thick especially if reflective material were sewn onto the back. #landlubbercurtains

    • See 1 previous
    • Joanne Joanne on Dec 28, 2017
      I think painters drop cloth maybe lighter weight than a boat sail cloth. I do not believe reflective material would help much for nighttime. you would need fabric to create insulating properties.

  • Swan Road Designs Swan Road Designs on Dec 28, 2017
    One thing you might consider for your fabric is to look into room-darkening drapery lining. It is a very effective insulator and should be available wherever drapery fabrics are sold or, of course, vendors on the Internet.

  • V Smith V Smith on Aug 15, 2019

    I am going to pay close attention to the help you get. I too live in a prow front home with similar clerestory windows over large sliders. Our house faces West and at certain times of the day the light can be a real distraction. My husband used to windsurf and I always though the sails would be the perfect size and shape to cover the windows, but I didn't know of a mechanism that would roll them up when I wanted the windows uncovered.

    I have not done it yet but the best fix my brain can come up with is to string a cable or attach a channel on the top diagonal following the trim, and have the curtains fall from the thick end of the triangle down to the pointy corner. Put eye hooks in the wall at the tall end and feed a cord thru the eye hook, thru the curtain ring clips and attach the cord to the point at the end of the curtain. The cord would need to be long enough that it reaches down into the room when the curtain is closed. When you pull the cord to open your curtains you can lock it into a cleat and have a pretty basket catch all that cord. When you want to close the curtain, release the cord from the cleat and gravity should send the curtain sliding down into the corner. You will need to secure the curtain's wide end at the top of the cable/channel so that end cannot slide down.

    It appears that you have enough wall between your windows to handle the fabric if you want to open you curtains completely. Just make the cable/channel run right up to the prow and make your triangle a little longer.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on May 10, 2021


    Try Solar Film or Polystyrene sheets for the winter!