The phrase “energy efficiency” frequently appears in news articles. Although it may seem the changes we can make as individuals will not have much of an impact on the world’s changing climate, we can all reap some quick and immediate benefits from making energy-efficient decisions at home.
Firstly, your utility bills will decrease if you improve your home’s energy efficiency. Even modest energy efficiency enhancements could preserve a significant amount of money over time.
Since windows are often the primary way that light and heat from outside come into our homes, it is crucial to know how to block out unwanted heat or cold to save energy.
The Link Between Windows and Indoor Temperature
You would be surprised by how much our windows affect the indoor temperature. The US Department of Energy (DOE) has conducted extensive studies that indicate windows account for between 25% and 30% of a home’s total heating and cooling bill. Indeed, the DOE recommends window coverings as a solution.
Blinds, Shutters, Shades, and Drapes can keep the house cool. For instance, the DOE says you can stop 77% of heat gain by strategically using window coverings. As a bonus, these measures also lessen heat loss during the winter.
Tips for Slashing Energy Consumption with Window Coverings
Different ways to improve a window covering’s energy efficiency depend on its type.
Curtains and Drapes
Closing curtains or drapes on the side of the home where the sun is shining can help keep the interior cooler on hot summer days; opening them in the winter can help warm the inside.
Different types of fabrics (closed vs. open weave) and colors have different abilities to block heat gain. For example, the DOE claims that medium-colored drapes with white plastic backs can cut heat gain by 33%.
Curtains should be hung as close to the window as space allows.
Closing drapes at the sides and overlapping them in the middle with Velcro boosts their insulating capabilities.
Investing in thermal curtain linings also significantly improves insulation. However, they also make the curtains thick and remove your ability to control how much light filters through. So, to escape the sun, you must shut out the world entirely.
If you opt for shades, install them inside the window frame, up close against the glass, to make a tight seal.
Shades with a dark backside and a lighter front can be flipped with the seasons, allowing you to take advantage of the sun’s reflective properties in the summer and its heat retention properties in the winter.
Quilted roller and Roman shades with multiple layers of fiber batting are more effective than other soft window treatments because they act as insulation and an air barrier.
Despite their adaptability, interior window blinds make it hard to regulate the temperature in a room due to the horizontal slats. However, the material choice can make a big difference. The DOE estimates that closing blinds made from highly reflective material can cut heat gain by about 45%.
Blinds can be turned at an angle to deflect and reflect sunlight onto a light-colored ceiling, where it spreads out and does not heat up or shine too brightly.
Learn More Tips for Making Your Window Coverings as Energy Efficient as Possible
Contact Southwest Blinds & Shutters today for more energy-efficient tips or to speak with our team about getting window coverings for your home.