Window coverings are generally considered to be decorative accents within the home. However, simple changes to your window coverings can also help you save on your monthly energy bills in the summer and winter months, for reasons that might not seem obvious at first.
Taking advantage of the heat of the sun is a great reason to use window coverings, as the Government of Canada has explained. Opening your curtains on south-facing windows means that sunlight will come in throughout the day and naturally heat your home. The process by which direct sunlight shining through a large window can heat up a room is called Solar Heat Gain, and can be significant enough to warrant turning off the heater or, at least, reducing its use. This helps you raise the temperature in your home without the use of electrical heaters or the furnace to help you save on your bills, particularly in the winter.
In the summer, drapes or blinds can stay closed during the sunniest times of the day to make sure that the home stays cool. This means you don’t need to keep a fan blowing or the air conditioning up to stay cool. You can rely on natural shade from your blinds or drapes to keep your home at a comfortable temperature.
Additionally, in the evening, windows can let in the air on colder nights, and heavy drapes can help reduce the chill that you might feel. Heat can often be lost through drafts, particularly if you don’t have the newest, most solid windows. Rather than investing in brand new windows, which can be quite expensive, the addition of the right window coverings can aid in reducing the draft. Many window treatments will help by offering a gap that provides a degree of insulation between the window pane and the room.
While heavy drapes have traditionally been used for this purpose, a Hunter Douglas product is regularly making waves in the window treatment community as the perfect invention for heat-saving: Duette Super-Insulating Shade. Its honeycomb pattern makes it incredibly insulating because its pleats trap pockets of air directly inside the shade which stops air from moving in and out – reducing the draft and cold infiltration to improve your overall energy efficiency.
Other window treatments that might be of use to you when considering energy efficient solutions include:
Awnings – To help reduce heat gain in warm weather by providing shade to a south-facing window. Some of these can be lowered in the winter to optimize Solar Heat Gain as needed.
Reflectivity film – To help reduce solar heat gain in general. According to Houzz.com, “silver, mirror-like film works better than more transparent film. High reflectivity film works well on very large windows, like the garage here, where cool temperatures are desirable.”
Regardless of your window treatment needs, there are stylish options available for every part of your home that can help reduce your energy bills if used in the correct manner. A product advisor from Custom Blinds by Design can take your design wishes and combine them with practical needs to optimize your window coverings.