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Window Treatments for St. Louis Churches, Temples, and Synagogues: Regulating Temperature and Enhancing Ambiance

Blinds, curtains, draperies and shades all aid in regulating your building’s temperature, protecting privacy while adding to the ambiance of the space.  With tough economic times and fewer people attending churches and temples, budgets aren’t as flexible as they used to be and carefully selecting window treatments to reduce heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer is essential.

To reduce the air leakage or infiltration you’ll want to caulk and weatherstrip around each window before installing the window treatment of your choice.  One window treatment churches and temples frequently install are blinds.  Highly reflective blinds can reduce heat gain in the summer by 45% and can be adjusted to block and reflect direct sunlight onto a light colored ceiling which will diffuse the light without much heat or glare.  Church and temple members appreciate blinds for the flexibility it affords when it comes to controlling light and ventilation in meeting rooms and classrooms.

Another option is draperies.  Closing medium-colored draperies with white-plastic backings during the day can reduce heat gains by 33%.  Because their pleats and folds lose heat through convection, draperies stay cooler in the summer that other window treatments.  In cold weather, most conventional draperies can reduce heat loss from a warm room up to 10%.  This is why it’s a good idea to keep draperies closed at night.  Hanging draperies as close to windows as possible and letting them fall onto a windowsill or floor helps to reduce heat exchange or convection.  Using Velcro or magnetic tape to attach drapes to the wall at the sides and bottom of your window can reduce heat loss up to 25%.  Another installation tip is to hang two draperies together to create a tighter air space than hanging one drapery would.  This helps to maintain the same temperature throughout the room.

Other temples prefer shades when it comes to regulating building temperature.  Shades are one of the simplest and effective ways for saving energy.  Mount shades as close to the glass as possible with the shades’ sides held close to the wall for a sealed air space.  Lower shades on sunlit windows, especially those on the south side of the building, on summer days.  But during the winter keep your shades raised during the day and lowered at night.  Dual shades, those with one side highly reflective (white) and the other side heat absorbing (dark), can be reversed with the seasons.  A dual shade’s reflective side should face outward during the winter and inward during the summer.  To be effective they should be drawn all day.

In some cases, window shutters, both interior and exterior, are called for.  Window shutters can dramatically help heat gain and heat loss in your church or temple.  Properly installed exterior window shutters proved weather protection, added security, don’t use up interior space and there’s no thermal shock to windows if left closed.  Solid window shutters decrease winter heat loss and summer heat gain with wood panels providing a vapor barrier and oftentimes a decorative covering.  Interior window shutters can be combined with draperies for greater insulating ability and decorative appeal.

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