Are you thinking about changing up your window treatments? Why not make them more energy-efficient and save a little money while you’re at it?
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) states that window shades can be one of the simplest and most effective window treatments for saving energy. Dual shades that are highly reflective (white) on one side and heat-absorbing (dark) on the other can be reversed with the seasons. Drapes can also be effective in any season, depending on fabric type and color.
In warm seasons, blinds and high-reflectivity film can reduce heat gain. The DOE estimates that, used correctly, blinds can reduce heat gain by as much as 45 percent. However, blinds aren’t that efficient at keeping out the cold, and film reflects sunlight regardless of the season, so these options are best for warmer climates.
For exterior changes, your best bets are awnings or overhangs. Overhangs can shade south-facing windows in the summer and, if oriented correctly, still allow sunlight in during the winter. Awnings can be quite effective in the summer, reducing solar heat gain by up to 77 percent. Plus, they add some personality and curb appeal to your home.
Tip: The key to any window treatment’s effectiveness in conserving energy is proper installation, so be sure to do your research.