Do you love the look of shutters but not the price? Here’s a cheap and easy DIY for an interior shutter window treatment.
Washing windows is so time consuming. Learn how to clean glass quickly and effectively with the following tips. And, even more important, keep the windows clean with few simple steps.
Window Cleaning Made Easy
Most homeowners use the traditional spray and towel wipe technique to clean the glass. While this isn’t a bad method for cleaning around the glass, it tends to leave streaks and clumps of dust. Try using a window-washing squeegee instead of a paper towel. You’ll cover more area in less time and avoid leaving annoying streaks.
If you’re still having problems with spots and streaks, consider changing the time of day you clean. Sound odd? Well, it is more about the temperature of the windows. When it is hot and sunny out, the water in the cleaning solution evaporates quicker and leaves behind deposits. Try to aim for early morning before the sun pops out.
With regard to the sporadic weather patterns of recent years, there is something that we can all agree on: the summers are getting hotter, the winters are getting colder and the springs and falls are much shorter than they used to be.
There are lots of things that you can do to beat the oppressive heat of the summer and the bone chilling cold of winter. You can use fans, heaters, fireplaces, your own clothes, etc. to help you regulate your body temperature and the temperature of your home. You can also use your windows.
During the summer, one of the best things you can do to reduce the amount of heat in your home is to hang up some blinds (thick wooden ones, like bamboo) over the outside of your windows. When you hang blinds on the outside of your window, you keep the heat of the sun from making contact with the glass or plastic in your windows (which effectively turns your windows into giant magnifying glasses and you into an ant).
If you don’t own your home and aren’t able to put up blinds on the outside of your house, that’s okay. You can buy heat absorbing film and put it on the inside of your windows to help reduce that ant/magnifying glass scenario we just talked about.
Tip: Keeping your windows open during the cooler parts of the day and closed during the hotter parts of the day also goes a long way toward helping you regulate your home’s temperature.
A Very Short History of the Glass Window
Just a few short centuries ago glass was a highly prized material that only the very wealthiest could afford to have adorning their homes. For millions of years before that, glass in a window was unheard of. So how did the journey from hole in the wall to triple glazed solar heat gathering glazed windows begin?
The Genius of Glassmaking
The first glass panes as we know them today were created in the latter part of the 3rd century and were made by slicing a blown glass bubble in half and flattening either side to make two flat panes. However, during the Dark Ages this skill, like many others, appears to have been lost. Although cathedrals and similar large public buildings incorporated incredible stained glass, the majority of domestic dwelling had only wooden shutters to protect their inhabitants from the weather outside.
It wasn’t until the Middle Ages that the idea of glazed windows really took off and glassmakers began developing new ways to create flat panes, including centrifugally spinning a bubble of glass into a flat disc.
By the 1550s glass in windows was fairly commonplace but still considered a major luxury, even for the super-wealthy. Fine houses generally only had glazed windows in the grandest rooms and the material was such a valuable commodity that many aristocrats carefully removed the glass from their windows and carefully stored it when they were away.
Leaded windows with the familiar lattice pattern became popular in the 17th century. The most common kind opened inwards in order to offer the best protection for the glass. By the end of the century as glass making technology developed, grander homes began to have larger window panes. It was around this time that the weighted sash window was invented in order to incorporate larger panes. In France, master glassmakers had worked out how to cast glass producing the clearest and flattest panes yet and their achievements can still be seen today in the magnificent Palace of Versailles.
By the mid 19th century engineers across the world had spent hundreds of years trying to create the flattest, clearest and strongest glass and technology had advanced enough for wealthy Victorians to utilise the latest material to add magnificent conservatories or even greenhouses to their properties.
In fact, a gardener was responsible for the world’s most famous glass structure, which demonstrates perfectly just how far glass had come. Glass technology had a huge part to play in making the Crystal Palace possible, but it’s construction also came at a time when steelmaking had reached a new peak and structures could be built using steel to support their weight and in the case of the Crystal Palace, without the need for bricks and mortar.
The incredible structure not only changed the way we look at glass, but completely transformed the world of architecture. The walls of glass made possible at the Crystal Palace were adopted by modern skyscrapers and the technique is now commonplace in towns and cities across the world. Meanwhile, many of today’s homes incorporate large sheets of glass and glass walls are a hugely popular feature.
Update Window Covering
Changing out or updating the window coverings in a room can change the look and feel of a room. Windows can take up anywhere from 20% or more of a typical rooms wall surface area. This is generally a quick and easy DIYer activity for most homeowners. This update can also be done very inexpensively. Most windows have either some kind of blind or shade designed to block our sunlight and add privacy. Some windows may or may not have a curtain or drapery, valence or other fabric that adds decoration, texture and color to the window and the room in general.
Get a tape measure and paper and pen as the first step in planning is the measure the windows and record those numbers and diagram your window. You will want to know the inside measurement, that is the measurement on the interior of the window trim as well as the outside measurement, that is the measurement on the exterior of the window trim. If you have existing curtain rods that you plan to reuse you will want to record their dimensions as well.
There are so many different choices of styles for blinds or drapes to cover your windows. Styles range from roman, plantation, vertical, honeycomb, venetian, mini, and bottom-up on the blind side of window coverings. The draperies includes: pleated, rod pocket, grommet, roller, tab top, insulated, and lined. In addition to style, you will need to select a color, pattern, and for curtains a fabric style. To help you discover a window covering to select, do research on the Internet, review design and architecture magazines, visit a home improvement store, and keep you eyes wide open when visiting others houses. Many choices that make for wonderful updates to your room. According to LMD Interior Design of Cary, NC hanging a set of coordinated sheer delicate drapery panels can be done in just two hours.
Prep and Install
Decide whether you plan to do the project yourself or hire this task out. The largest part of prepping for this type of project is to use a measuring tape to get the proper curtain measurements, as mentioned earlier, so you can order the products. Once your products have arrived you can remove the old window coverings. Now is a good opportunity to wash your windows as well. Follow the installation instructions that come with your product.
Sit back and enjoy your new look!
In recent years, most people have considered the amount of energy they use more than ever. With rising prices for energy and the poor impact on the environment that using too much energy can cause, more and more people are looking for new ways to save big on the cost of energy each month.
If you would like to reduce the amount of energy you use this winter to help the environment and save money, try some of the following changes in your energy-consumption practices:
Try a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat is one of the easiest ways to save on energy consumption each winter. You set the temperature that you want the thermostat to maintain based on specific days of the weeks or time of day. For example, you could set the thermostat to automatically lower by about 10 degrees while you are away from home at work each day. You can also lower the thermostat at night when you are in a warm bed. If you lower your thermostat for about 8 hours per day by 10 degrees, you can save about 20 percent on your total energy bills each month. This savings can quickly add up and you will be placing less stress on your furnace equipment as well.
Clean and Replace Air Filters
If your furnace has air filters, cleaning the filters can have a huge impact on the efficiency of your furnace. A blocked air filter can cause your furnace to work harder to maintain the same temperature reading in your house. Replacing the filters every three months will keep the air flow strong and prevent your furnace from consuming too much energy and overheating. If you use reusable filters, you can even save money by cleaning the filters instead of replacing them several times a year.
Maintain your Furnace
With extended use, a furnace will eventually wear out. Burners can get dirty, hoses can crack, air blowers can fail, and other problems can occur with the system. The best way to ensure your furnace always operates at top efficiency levels is to have a professional come and inspect the unit each year. The inspector can make any necessary adjustments or repairs to prevent the furnace from wasting energy throughout the winter.
Seal home leaks
Your house can lose a large amount of the heated air your furnace products through small holes and cracks. Many cracks and leaks occur near doorways and windows. Adding weatherstripping to doors and windows is a highly effective way to control the leaks in your home. Look for other small leaks as well, such as near electrical outlets, plumbing connections, and unused chimneys. You can also prevent hot air from escaping through cold windows by covering windows with curtains at night.
Inspect your Ductwork
Your ductwork is extremely important and carries the air from your furnace to the rooms of your home. If there are leaks in the ductwork, then you will lose much of your heated air to unused areas of your home. Have a professional inspector come and investigate your ductwork and make any necessary repairs. Blocks in the vents, improper insulation, and holes in the ductwork can all cause you to waste energy and money while warming your home throughout the winter. Fixing your ductwork can help rescue up to 60 percent of the energy used to warm your home.
Nearly everyone has to warm their home throughout the winter. Without a warm home, many people would suffer through the winter. Because the need for heat is universal, heating your home can be one of the largest home expenses you face each year. However, if you follow the steps outlined above, you can maximize your home comfort while still saving energy and money.
This guest post was written by Endre R., a green energy and sustainability advocate. He is also a freelance writer representing UFH1, a company that helps you learn more about underfloor heating manifolds, located in the UK.