I need some kind of insulation for my patio doors, but it has to allow me to open the doors

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Topic by Sandro posted 01-23-2009 05:17 PM 4795 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Sandro's profile


5 posts in 3769 days

01-23-2009 05:17 PM

Topic tags/keywords: insulation patio doors sliding doors


Here is my problem: I live in a condominium unit on the ground floor, which has several sliding patio doors, one in each room. All the glasses were replaced recently and are double glasses, but a lot of heat still goes out through the glasses in the cold days and my energy bill reflects that! I have read about some kind of insulating film that could be put on the patio doors, but if I used that film I wouldn’t be able to open the doors any more, which I need to do once a day because there are no other windows in the house except those patio doors.

Does anybody have a suggestion on how I could significantly reduce the loss of heat through the patio doors while still being able to open them to let some fresh air into the house once a day?


View dustygirl's profile


321 posts in 3852 days

01-23-2009 05:44 PM

I use plastic film that you shrink with a hair dryer in my sun room and it works great.But you wouldn’t be able to open the doors.You could fit a sheet of Styrofoam frame to frame but this would block your light.You have a real dilemma here.Sorry I can’t help you.

-- Dustygirl Hastings,Ont. Life is too short to sit around doing nothing

View Scott Hildenbrand's profile

Scott Hildenbrand

33 posts in 3907 days

01-24-2009 09:40 PM


Considering what you’re working with, I’d recommend a good heavy drapery.

There are several plans and details on the site for making shades which incorporate the use of radiant barriers. These will help greatly to prevent heat loss.

Be sure to neb through the whole site.. Tons of data and ideas for all around the house.

-- Planting Daylilies in Kentucky, zone 6b

View Sandro's profile


5 posts in 3769 days

01-25-2009 03:48 AM

Thanks, very helpful.

View Sandro's profile


5 posts in 3769 days

01-25-2009 06:57 PM

I am thinking about the following solution:

- get some cheap vinyl vertical blinds with 3.5”-wide slats—they don’t have to look nice ($20 for a 78”x84”)

- get a couple of spatial blankets ($1 each)

- cut the space blankets into 7”-wide strips (twice the width of the vinyl slats) and wrap each slat with a strip

- this should block radiation in both directions (inwards in the summer and outwards in the winter) when the blinds are completely closed and would allow me to regulate the amount of incoming or outgoing radiation by turning the slats

- install a fabric curtain (of any type) in front of the blinds, hanging from the ceiling

- this would leave enough empty space in front of the radiant barrier on both sides for it to work best (I have read that 1” of empty space is recommended)

This solution seems easy, cheap, and effective to me.

Any opinions or suggestions? Thanks for any feedback!

View Big Al's profile

Big Al

59 posts in 3764 days

01-29-2009 02:38 PM

I’m big on acrylic coated drapes… my grand mother has those and i will get some when i get a house. They are like ultra heavy ultra thick drapes that block out all the sun. with the drapes shut, the room turns preatty cold fast.

-- BigAl, Ontario Canada

View Dalec's profile


40 posts in 4065 days

02-01-2009 04:03 AM

I suppose it depends on whether you want to insulate for insulation’s sake or want a window treatment? We had window shades (levelor by duets) I believe that’s the name. They were reasonably fashiionable and with their honeycombed design would create a insulating pocket of air between its folds. There were two sections (one for each 1/2 side of the slider, so you could raise or lower one of both sides for access through the slider. They provide some privacy and insulation value. Not inexpensive however.


View Sandro's profile


5 posts in 3769 days

02-06-2009 05:32 AM

Thanks, everybody. I have ordered a set of vertical blinds as well as a set of heavy drapes. I will mount the blinds first (closer to the glasses), and then the drapes (from the ceiling to the floor). I will also check if the space blankets wrapped around the slats of the blinds will make any difference. I will let you know how it works.

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