Curious about how Window Treatments Save Money? It’s not just even simply having them – but using the correctly that yields great savings. It’s weird because it’s not the normal way to use window treatments. We generally think of them as an aesthetic piece to our home, along with providing privacy. We rarely consider the cost savings with certain uses of window treatments.
With the long, hot summer long ahead of us and the frigid winter nights soon behind us, we can all finally open our energy bills with a smidge less trepidation for a month or two. But why not use this time and financial breather to spend a bit of money on something that could help lower that bill in the future, like window treatments?
Yes, window treatments. Beautiful drapes, stylish shades and innovative blinds aren’t just for show. Window treatments are a proven way to save cash on your energy bills. By covering up, you’re adding an extra layer of insulation to what is essentially a hole in your wall that lets energy leak out of your home.
By reducing heat loss in the winter and preventing heat gain in the summer, window treatments can help your heating and air conditioning work less and can ultimately help save you money as well. Here’s a look at how you can make your home more comfortable (and affordable) by choosing the right window coverings.
According to energy.gov, installing awnings above your windows can reduce solar heat gain in the summer by up to 65 percent on south-facing windows and 77 percent on west-facing windows. That is a huge number, especially when you compare the cost of the investment to other major sources of energy saving investments. However, note that a fixed awning can sometimes block the heat of the sun in the winter when you’d like it to help warm your home, so choose adjustable or retractable awnings for the biggest energy-saving benefit.
Just having blinds on your windows isn’t enough to save much energy—it’s the type and how you use them that makes the real difference. Slatted blinds aren’t as good for controlling heat loss because the heat can easily escape through them. However, in the summer they allow you to control the direction of the light and improve ventilation in your home. Plus, blinds with a highly reflective surface can reduce heat gain by as much as 45 percent, according to energy.gov.
Dark, tight-woven drapes are more effective at reducing heat loss than light-colored, looser ones, but all offer some degree of benefit. For example, energy.gov says, “Studies demonstrate that medium-colored draperies with white plastic backings can reduce heat gains by 33 percent.” By drawing all your drapes in the winter, you can reduce heat loss by up to 10 percent.
Shades are probably the most effective treatment for saving energy, as they fit the closest to the window itself and have no slats. This establishes a sealed air space between the shades and the window, providing greater insulation.
The key with shades is raising and lowering them at the right time. You want shades on the south side of your home to be raised during the day in winter and lowered during the day in summer, and lowered at night in all seasons. This can be difficult to do if you have a large house or blinds that aren’t easy to access. While it’s a little more of an upfront investment, it’s worth considering motorized shades that can be programmed to open and close at certain times of day so you don’t have to remember to do it. This way your shades will do all the work for you, and you can relax in comfort year-round without worrying about sky-high energy bills.
Prepare for the onslaught of winter and the heat of the summer by investing in some good quality window treatments that will enhance your home and make opening those August and January energy bills a little less painful.
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An award-winning freelance journalist, Jennifer Tuohy writes on a variety of subjects, but her passion lies with technology, sustainability and the intersection of the two. Jennifer began her career at London’s Daily Telegraph and has written for a number of lifestyle publications and newspapers. For more information on window treatments that can impact energy savings visit HomeDepot.com.