Do Window Treatments Really Help Save Money On Your Energy Bills?
YES! Windows account for large amounts of your home’s heat gain in the summer and temperature loss in the winter. Window treatments help reduce unwanted heat gain in the summer by blocking the sun’s rays from entering your home. In the winter, window treatments help keep your home warmer by creating a barrier so that the warm air does not escape.
– Blinds reduce heat gain in your home by reflecting the sun’s rays. The University of Florida found that by installing and keeping blinds closed at the hottest time of day, homeowners can reduce heat gain in their home by up to 45 percent, especially if the blinds are light colored.
– Shades are similar to blinds, but do not have openable slats. They keep the sun’s heat out, but can also block out the sunlight you need to brighten your home. For climates with warm summers and cool winters, dual shades provide the most insulation options. Their dark side draws in heat from the sun in the winter and the white side reflects heat away from your home in the summer.
– Drapes can help reduce winter heat loss by six to eight percent and your home’s summer heat gain by around 30 percent. In order to make the most out of your drapes, choose neutral colored drapes made from a tight-weave fabric. This will keep drafts from passing through your drapes in winter and hold the sun’s heat at bay in the summer.
– Awnings are a standard way to keep the sun at bay in warm climates. Used on west and south-facing windows, they keep the sun out of your home, reducing heat gain by anywhere from 65 to 75 percent. Not only does this option cut down on your home’s heat gain, but they look good and don’t block your view like closed blinds or shades do. Look for light colors to reflect the sun.
– Reflective window films cover your windows and reflect the sun all year. If you are concerned with natural light in your home, look for low-emissivity films that insulate your home year-round and do not reduce visibility or natural light like traditional, unlike silver reflecting films.
Investing in the right set of window treatments for your home can make the difference between throwing dollars out the window and saving you big money. Now that you understand a little bit more about the most common window treatments, you can make an educated decision about which options are the best for your home.