It’s that time of year again when homeowners turn on the heat in their homes, and parents everywhere admonish children to close the door quickly with the question, “Are you trying to heat the neighborhood?”

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that as much as one third of the average home’s heat loss occurs through doors and windows. And The Department of Energy reports that heating and cooling accounts for nearly 56% of the energy use in a typical U.S. home, making it the largest energy expense in most households.

There are three ways heat exchange occurs:

  • Conduction – transfer of heat through two stationary parts of a system, e.g., warm indoor air warms the chilled window pane and is transmitted outside./li>
  • Convection – transfer of heat by circulation, e.g. heat is lost as air between the window and heat source cools. Hot air is cooled and circulates back into the room as more hot air takes its place.  This exchange requires more energy to maintain the room’s temperature.
  • Radiation – process where energy, e.g., heat, is emitted by one body, e.g., furnace, through a medium, e.g., air, and absorbed by another body, e.g., glass.

Window Coverings can slow heat exchange by providing a layer of insulation between the chilled window pane and the warmed indoor air.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll address which window treatments do the job better than others and give you some tips to keep your home as warm and cozy as a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows!