What is the best window treatment material for a home with radiant heat?

Asked by Chris Beebe
Carbondale, CO

I am building a new home with large windows that I want to treat to retain heat in the winter. I'm installing in-floor radiant heat. To retain the radiation, should I consider a shade material with foil to reflect the heat back? If so, do you have sourcing recommendations in the Rocky Mountain region? If not, what's my best bet for managing this type of heat? Thanks!


Sean Lintow Sr

Answered by Sean Lintow Sr

Naperville, IL

SLS Construction & Building Solutions

December 31, 2012

The best window treatment for building new is the windows themselves. They should have a U Factor of .3 or less and you may consider a low-e coating on the inside to help reflect the heat back inside.

While I recommend that people use heavy drapes in colder climates that is not because of normal heat or energy savings, but rather comfort which leads to those savings. For example if you can feel drafts coming in or your body giving up that heat you will feel cold and you will turn up the heater.

One other item to recall for Radiant Floor Heating is that unlike a forced air system which is trying to heat the entire room -- you are only heating from the floor up to about 6 feet.


For more information:

For more on NFRC labels and windows read Sean's blog post here and his radiant Heat FAQ here.

Tagged In: energy efficient window, window coverings

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