Survive the Summer with Energy-Efficient Window Treatments

Does your home get very hot during this time of the year? Do you spend more money than you would like on heating and cooling your home, in general? As much as 20-30% of heating and cooling energy escapes through windows and considering there are several windows throughout a home, it all adds up to a considerable amount of energy loss, not to mention a drain on your wallet.

Sometimes overlooked, window treatments, such as shades, blinds, drapes, and shutters can be used for privacy, to eliminate sunlight and unwanted heat, and they can provide just the right amount of lighting—resulting in more comfort and spending less on your electricity bill. Having the right window treatments really makes a difference in increasing your home’s overall energy efficiency. Check out these window treatment options that can help you save:

Shades
Among the most efficient ways to save electricity, shades are at the top. They block the heat and reflect the scorching  sunlight back during the summer. Usually, inexpensive, correct installation is very important if you want to reap the benefits of shades. Mounting them extremely close to the glass helps in creating a sealed space which obstructs the sunlight. Here are four of the best window shade options to keep the heat out: cellular/honeycomb shades, roller and roman shades, reversible shades, and exterior solar shades. We recommend doing research to find which style best fits your needs and your budget.

Blinds
Blinds are in almost every house, and there is a multitude of styles, textures, and prices for any budget. According to the Department of Energy (DOE), high-reflection blinds can cut down heat gain by 45% if closed tightly. The slats in a blind can be adjusted to control the light and ventilation in a room. Just like shutters, you turn the slats downward in the summer to keep the heat out and turn the slats upward in the winter to keep the heat in. If your windows face major sunlight most of the day, blinds are the ideal window treatments for you.

Drapes
Drapes and curtains are two very distinct window coverings. Curtains are usually a lighter, thin, or sheer fabric, whereas drapes are made of heavy fabric and typically are lined – allowing them to block light and heat. Although their ability to control the heat depends on the fabric they are made of, experts believe that medium-colored drapes with liners can cut down the heat by at least 33%.

Shutter

  •  Exterior
    Along with protecting the window during a storm, exterior shutters are excellent at keeping out the hot sun. Putting operable (hinged and able to close) exterior shutters on your house and opening and closing them accordingly can make huge gains in energy efficiency.
  • Interior
    Plantation shutters are a popular and attractive way to provide privacy and upgrade your windows’ energy performance. Angling the slats downward in the summer and upward during the winter keeps the heat where it belongs.

Window treatments are an important home decor feature, so why not choose a style that helps cut energy costs and puts money back into your pocket over time? This season, stop throwing money out the window and consider installing energy-efficient window treatments.