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Well, so much for repeat measurements this morning. It was so dark we slept through sunrise. 🙄

I think if I didn’t have windows, I would need a bigger van.

@GaryBIS, what's your take on my initial numbers? If they don’t look right, what should I do differently?
Hi MSNomer,
Your initial results:
Results:
Ambient: 24° (Colder than I expected)
Van Interior: 68° (Warmer than I expected)

Quilt Alone: 62° inside surface, 61.5° outside surface

Quilt with white light-blocking fabric: 64.5° inside surface, 51° outside surface

Quilt with thin reflective fabric: 64° inside surface, 40.5° outside surface


The progression seems right for the different treatments, but could you get one more set of readings?
Its interesting to have the temp of the outside surface of the shade. I guess you are getting that by quickly pulling the shade in and getting a reading on the back? It should be helpful to have these as it will show how much of the temp drop is over the shade itself.
I'm a bit puzzled by the big drop in temperature of the outside surface for the last one (40.5F).
It would be good if both the front and back of shade had the painters tape where you take the reading - this will keep the IR gun from getting confused by the reflective surface.

Can you also get a reading on an adjacent window with no shade? Just put some painters tape right on the inside of the glass. This can then be the baseline for all the window treatments.

Since the inside temperature probably varies around the van, best to get the inside air temp with a thermometer placed a few inches in front of the window you are getting the shade measurements on.
Are the different shade constructions all being measured on the same window? That is, measure quilt alone, then add light blocking fabric and measure again? If so, good to allow some times for things to stabilize.

Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Hi MSNomer,
Your initial results:
Results:
Ambient: 24° (Colder than I expected)
Van Interior: 68° (Warmer than I expected)

Quilt Alone: 62° inside surface, 61.5° outside surface

Quilt with white light-blocking fabric: 64.5° inside surface, 51° outside surface

Quilt with thin reflective fabric: 64° inside surface, 40.5° outside surface


The progression seems right for the different treatments, but could you get one more set of readings?

I will set it up again tonight.

Its interesting to have the temp of the outside surface of the shade. I guess you are getting that by quickly pulling the shade in and getting a reading on the back? It should be helpful to have these as it will show how much of the temp drop is over the shade itself.

Both front and back of shade have tape, and yes, I quickly pulled it back and measured. Is there a better way? None of these has stitching in the middle, just around the edges. The "middle" one with light-blocking fabric hangs loosely enough that there is probably a gap between inside and outside fabric. The extreme one at the rear is resting against the insect screen, so its layers are probably touching.

I'm a bit puzzled by the big drop in temperature of the outside surface for the last one (40.5F).
It would be good if both the front and back of shade had the painters tape where you take the reading - this will keep the IR gun from getting confused by the reflective surface.

All measurements were from green tape surface.

Can you also get a reading on an adjacent window with no shade? Just put some painters tape right on the inside of the glass.
This can then be the baseline for all the window treatments.

I will do that.

Since the inside temperature probably varies around the van, best to get the inside air temp with a thermometer placed a few inches in front of the window you are getting the shade measurements on.
Are the different shade constructions all being measured on the same window? That is, measure quilt alone, then add light blocking fabric and measure again? If so, good to allow some times for things to stabilize.

All curtains were set up in their intended positions before I went to bed and measured early morning, so nothing was disturbed except to pull the corner back to quickly take the outside measurement. The ambient thermometer was set a few inches from the window with light-blocking fabric.

For the ambient measurements, what if I put some green tape on upturned plastic cups situated on the bed near each window?


Gary
 

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Hi,
Pulling the shade back quickly to get the back side reading seems fine to me - can't think of any better way to do it.

If you want to use the IR gun to get the inside air temp, I'd take a piece of paper and move it around a bit a few inches from the window - this will get it the same temp as the air, then measure its temp with the IR gun.


Sounds good!

Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Here is what I set up for each window. Plus there is tape on the back of each curtain and tape on the inside and outside of the covered windows, and the uncovered slider window.

Rectangle Wood Grey Wall Material property


It's already mid-20’s out there, so I may take measurements before I go to bed, then again in the morning.

Hard to believe it was 86° when I returned to the van after yesterday's hike.
 

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I finished hanging all the reflectix shades in my PM which make it practically pitch black in there and completely dark outside as well when I have the full lights on. Is there any reason besides aesthetics and some R-value gain from some of the other bulkier ones? For the cab glass, I bought some from YellowPro on Amazon and can't recommend them highly enough. Seem to be much better quality than off the shelf stuff from Lowes or HD and fit absolutely perfectly.
 

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I finished hanging all the reflectix shades in my PM which make it practically pitch black in there and completely dark outside as well when I have the full lights on. Is there any reason besides aesthetics and some R-value gain from some of the other bulkier ones? For the cab glass, I bought some from YellowPro on Amazon and can't recommend them highly enough. Seem to be much better quality than off the shelf stuff from Lowes or HD and fit absolutely perfectly.
Can you post a link for that YellowPro product?

TIA
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
New measurements. Ambient per my ordinary thermometer was 16°

Quilt Only:
Ambient: 63°
Inside Fabric: 56.5°
Outside Fabric: 47.5°
Inside Glass: 31°
Outside Glass: 28.5°

Quilt with Light-Blocking Fabric:
Ambient: 59°
Inside Fabric: 55°
Outside Fabric: 42.5°*
Inside Glass: 31°
Outside Glass: 30°

Quilt with Reflecting Fabric:
Ambient: 63°
Inside Fabric: 55°
Outside Fabric: 43°
Inside Glass: Not measured because that would require opening rear door (rear screen is in place)
Outside Glass: 27.5°
_
* Outside of light-blocking fabric measured directly through open window: 40.5°

These numbers do not make sense to me. I am coming to the conclusion that my HF gun is a piece of crap. To confirm that suspicion, I have re-measured that exposed back of the light-blocking fabric a number of times. It has the advantage that I can measure it from the outside without disturbing anything. In the interim, ambient has increased from 16° to 18°, but it is cloudy, so no sunshine. My subsequent readings have been 42°, 45.5°, 40.5°, then 40°.

My primary reason for this test is that I still have one curtain to complete and I can choose which of the two backings to use. @GaryBIS, what is your take?
 

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Can you post a link for that YellowPro product?

TIA
These are the window coverings. They come in 4 pieces with suction cups and fit perfectly against the glass. Basically zero gaps and light leakage.

Amazon.com: YelloPro Custom Fit Automotive Front Seat Side Window Sunshade for 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 Dodge RAM ProMaster Full Size Cargo Van Chassis Cab Cutaway Window Van (4pcs) : Automotive

This windshield cover fits perfectly with nearly zero gaps. If you slide it up and tuck it toward the top of the windshield, there's zero light leakage except where it sags a little around the mirror. You could add a little reflectix cutout to hang around the mirror or tape it up in that spot and to cut the light leakage to zero, but as it is it's very difficult to see any lights through that gap.

Amazon.com: YelloPro Automotive Custom Fit Reflective Front Windshield Sunshade Accessories for 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 Dodge RAM ProMaster Full Size Cargo Van Chassis Cab Cutaway Window Van : Automotive

For the other windows in my van, I just made Reflectix cutouts with duct tape around the edges for reinforcement and glued velcro strips on several places along the edges of the frame.

For the small sliders, they're just held in place by the window frame.

For the back door factory windows, I skipped the duct tape reinforcement and just cut reflectix sheets about 1/8" larger than the window in every direction so it tucks into window frame.

When I'm working in there at night with full lights on, it appears completely dark to everyone else in my townhouse lot.

Tire Wheel Window Vehicle Vehicle registration plate
 

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These numbers do not make sense to me. I am coming to the conclusion that my HF gun is a piece of crap. To confirm that suspicion, I have re-measured that exposed back of the light-blocking fabric a number of times. It has the advantage that I can measure it from the outside
@MsNomer I can verify the HF gun has issues. I set up a more controlled measurement this morning. 29 outside 65-75 inside. I used paper strips taped to the van to measure outside ambient 2 to 3 in from the surface. It's started well but about halfway through measuring my test points the gun started acting erratic and the temperature values started dropping. Back inside the van it took 10-15 minutes before the gun warmed up and started operating normally again. I don't trust any of the numbers.

At normal room temperatures, such as in my living room, The gun works great. I tried various targets to make sure that plain white paper senses the same as blue or green tape. One anomaly I found this morning was that the paper targets are IR transparent. The temperature I was recording depended on which direction I was shooting. Shooting towards the front of the van, temperature low, shooting towards the rear of the van temperatures rise. Guess where the cold spot is.

I am awaiting shipment of a better gun tomorrow. Still not a professional piece like the fluke. I'll repeat the experiment Friday morning but then I'm on the road.

Need to do some more experimenting with the transparency issue. I like the idea of using the IR gun to measure ambient temperature on a target. But if all targets are slightly transparent it's going to be a problem.
 

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For most people, windows are a minor portion of their "envelope." For me, they are essentially the entire mid-height section. Not only are the windows themselves maximum size all around, but there is no "box" around them, as many have, so the entire recessed area is either glass, aluminum or bare steel.

Several years ago, I made coverings for the side windows from a cheap Walmart quilt with the fake glued-together "stitches." The primary use has been for blocking unavoidable bright lights at night. I decided that this year's winter project will be to upgrade them, but I like the look of the existing ones so well, I decided to improve them rather than start from scratch.

View attachment 82179

View attachment 82180

The windshield screen doubles as a barrier between cab and rear.


I have been using an identical one across the rear, but decided to upgrade to a quilt one. It wraps under the mattress and connects with the side curtain to insulate the living space not just from the rear windows, but from the entire rear area including the D-pillars. This is its first mock-up.

View attachment 82181

As you can see in the photograph, this quilt fabric is not blocking light very well, so I decided to add light-blocking fabric. As soon as the clerk handed me the folded fabric, I knew I could not use it on the rear curtain—its weight would pull the curtain off its magnets. It will work for the side curtains because they hang on hooks. For the rear, I bought the Class A sized version of the windshield cover and will attach the fabric with the shiny side out.

Sooo, I have three scenarios to test and compare if the cold weather lingers around long enough—quilt alone, quilt with heavy impervious white backing, and quilt with thin but reflective backing.

I have already determined that I can have at least a 25° differential across the original. (HF laser gun, surfaces taped per Gary's suggestion.) Given that I can practically see through it and a large percentage of its surface area is squished flat, this surprises me. Reflecting on the concurrent discussion of the R-value difference between Thinsulate and Polyiso, I wonder if the R-value of this fabric can even be measured. However, we both notice the substantial rush of cold air when it is removed.

More tomorrow, I hope. Any suggestions, @GaryBIS?
For most people, windows are a minor portion of their "envelope." For me, they are essentially the entire mid-height section. Not only are the windows themselves maximum size all around, but there is no "box" around them, as many have, so the entire recessed area is either glass, aluminum or bare steel.

Several years ago, I made coverings for the side windows from a cheap Walmart quilt with the fake glued-together "stitches." The primary use has been for blocking unavoidable bright lights at night. I decided that this year's winter project will be to upgrade them, but I like the look of the existing ones so well, I decided to improve them rather than start from scratch.

View attachment 82179

View attachment 82180

The windshield screen doubles as a barrier between cab and rear.


I have been using an identical one across the rear, but decided to upgrade to a quilt one. It wraps under the mattress and connects with the side curtain to insulate the living space not just from the rear windows, but from the entire rear area including the D-pillars. This is its first mock-up.

View attachment 82181

As you can see in the photograph, this quilt fabric is not blocking light very well, so I decided to add light-blocking fabric. As soon as the clerk handed me the folded fabric, I knew I could not use it on the rear curtain—its weight would pull the curtain off its magnets. It will work for the side curtains because they hang on hooks. For the rear, I bought the Class A sized version of the windshield cover and will attach the fabric with the shiny side out.

Sooo, I have three scenarios to test and compare if the cold weather lingers around long enough—quilt alone, quilt with heavy impervious white backing, and quilt with thin but reflective backing.

I have already determined that I can have at least a 25° differential across the original. (HF laser gun, surfaces taped per Gary's suggestion.) Given that I can practically see through it and a large percentage of its surface area is squished flat, this surprises me. Reflecting on the concurrent discussion of the R-value difference between Thinsulate and Polyiso, I wonder if the R-value of this fabric can even be measured. However, we both notice the substantial rush of cold air when it is removed.

More tomorrow, I hope. Any suggestions, @GaryBIS?
I made windshield / window insulators out of 1.7# polytetheylene foam.Its white but you can get it colored .Its about 1 1/4"thick .Made a big difference
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Ouch. That was quite informative. Sounds like if I used 1” tape, the gun needs to be less than one inch from the surface. I certainly did not do that. I can make my target tapes bigger. And I can measure outside 20 minutes before/after inside—I had actually contemplated that possibility.
 

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New measurements. Ambient per my ordinary thermometer was 16°

Quilt Only:
Ambient: 63°
Inside Fabric: 56.5°
Outside Fabric: 47.5°
Inside Glass: 31°
Outside Glass: 28.5°

Quilt with Light-Blocking Fabric:
Ambient: 59°
Inside Fabric: 55°
Outside Fabric: 42.5°*
Inside Glass: 31°
Outside Glass: 30°

Quilt with Reflecting Fabric:
Ambient: 63°
Inside Fabric: 55°
Outside Fabric: 43°
Inside Glass: Not measured because that would require opening rear door (rear screen is in place)
Outside Glass: 27.5°
_
* Outside of light-blocking fabric measured directly through open window: 40.5°

These numbers do not make sense to me. I am coming to the conclusion that my HF gun is a piece of crap. To confirm that suspicion, I have re-measured that exposed back of the light-blocking fabric a number of times. It has the advantage that I can measure it from the outside without disturbing anything. In the interim, ambient has increased from 16° to 18°, but it is cloudy, so no sunshine. My subsequent readings have been 42°, 45.5°, 40.5°, then 40°.

My primary reason for this test is that I still have one curtain to complete and I can choose which of the two backings to use. @GaryBIS, what is your take?
Hi MSNomer,
The heat loss through the window or window plus shade is directly proportional to the drop in temperature between the inside air temp and the temperature on the inside surface of the shade, then for your measurements...

Quilt only: Inside 63F, Shade 56.5, Difference 6.5F

Quilt with light blocking fabric: Inside 59F, Shade 55F, Difference 4F

Quilt with reflecting fabric: Inside 63F, Shade 55F, Difference 8F

So, this would say that the Quilt with light blocking fabric is best.
It also says that the quilt with reflecting fabric is worse than the quilt alone, and this seems questionable - seems like the extra layer of reflecting fabric should be worth something.
So, maybe, as you suspect your IR gun is not quite up to snuff.

Reflecting surfaces theoretically help both in winter and summer - they reflect sun back out in the summer and in the winter their low emissivity surface reduces the amount of heat they radiate outward. But, if the reflecting layer is embedded between fabric layers, it probably won't have any beneficial effect.

I have the Fluke 62 MAX and I like it - like most of the Fluke stuff its pretty rudged and accurate and consistent. But, its gotten kind of pricey. I'm sure there are some good cheap ones out there - unfortunately Project Farmer has not done a review on IR temp guns yet - maybe if we all leave a comment on his channel he will come through :)

I tried the technique of waving a piece of paper around and then getting its temp with the IR gun. It worked well.
The measured air temp with a good thermometer (see below) and the IR gun - the IR gun readings were within 0.5F of the thermometer. I did not have the problem with the Fluke that Larry reported with his IR gun showing different readings depending on how the paper and gun were oriented. I tried both white paper and a dark red paper and they were very close.
The Hana Checktemp is a good lab quality thermometer that is not to expensive - it is normally about $30, but seems to be up now.

Another thing to keep in mind about IR cameras or thermometers is that they don't see through some things that your eyes do and the do see through some things your eyes don't. If you aim the IR gun at a window, you will get the surface temp of the glass, not the temperature of the stuff outside window, and if you put something in an opaque black plastic garbage bag, the IR gun will see through the "opaque" plastic and see the temperature of the stuff inside! This is some "lessons learned" I put together right after I got my IR camera. The IR cameras are great and have dropped dramatically in price.

You are probably getting a bit tired of this, but if you decide to get a better IR gun and repeat, I'd try to get some readings on a bare window to use as a baseline - even if its one of the cab windows.

Gary
 

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I repeated my efforts this morning with my new "Amazon Commercial I.R. thermometer with type K thermocouple". It has a much tighter D/S of 20:1 so easier to hit a target. I still was picking up background noise and the readings shifted over the 10 minutes I was taking measurements. Even the Fluke documentation discusses a 20-minute period to equalize to the measuring environment - although I am not sure what that means. The "spec" for the Amazon device ($40) is comparable to the Fluke (150ms per reading, +/- 1% or 1C whichever is greater. Much worse below 0C.

I think one of the confounding problems is that with the outside air temperature at 29-30 deg (my weather station) the radiation cooling of the sky made surface temperatures quite a bit lower. I was measuring ambient of 24 and surface of 26-33f.

Anyway, these are my numbers for the Arctic Tern 500x1100 window with integral light blocking (low-E) shade

T Ambient outside: 24f
T Surface outside: 26.4
T Surface inside shade: 45
T Surface window: 39/45 (shade down/shade up, wait 5 minutes)
T Ambient inside: 57.5

Driver side operable window, no insulation
T Surface outside 36.5f
T Surface inside 41

Galley Wall
T Surface outside: 33.6
T Surface inside: 55.2
T Ambient inside: 57.9

Scanning the van surface showed quite a variation from 24->32. So, I took some I/R photos which, actually, are a lot more informative than the spot measurements. They tell me where I need to work on my insulation! NB: It was still pretty dark when I took these photos. Local sunrise is 7:40am


Vehicle Wheel Rectangle Art Tire

Mode of transport Automotive lighting Vehicle Font Art

Tire Wheel Automotive parking light Vehicle Sky
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
After spinning my wheels for too long, I am resigned to accept that I was right for us from the beginning. During the recent bitter cold, I left the window coverings on as the van sat in the driveway. This did help the electric heater keep up. However, every time we went in there, we could hardly wait to get out. It was not a place we would want to spend time, certainly not a place to "just be" as I so love to do.

So I predict that these coverings will primarily be used in summer to diminish the greenhouse effect when we are out hiking for the day. Put them up as we leave, remove them when we return. Have them on hand for the odd bitter cold. But ordinarily, we will enjoy our windows.
 
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