Most homeowners use window treatments for aesthetic purposes instead of function. However, with proper placement and materials, they can actually help reduce your monthly utility bills. The effects can be significant such that you can lower solar heat gain up to 33% by using colored curtains that are not too light and not too dark with a white plastic backing, as reported by the Department of Energy or DOE. If you want this kind of savings, below are some window treatment options to consider:
1. Window Shades
These are the most efficient and simplest window treatments for saving energy, according to DOE. When using shades, proper installation is vital. They should be mounted as close to the windowpanes as possible and against the nearest wall to create a snug seal, which would reduce heat loss and gain, notes a Hunter Douglas specialist in New Jersey. Consider dual-layered fabric shades with dark fabric on one side and light fabric on the other. Thus, you can reverse the shades according to the season; the dark side for absorbing heat during cold weather and the light side for reflecting heat during hot weather.
2. Window Blinds
These help lower solar heat gain and ensure privacy, proper ventilation, and desired light levels. When lowered or closed during sunny days, light blinds can lower heat gain by up to 45%.
These can help with insulating your space from heat loss and solar gain, depending on the specific color and fabric used. Similar to other window treatments, drapes must be accurately placed—the key is to create the tightest seal possible—to maximize their performance.
4. Mesh Screens
These are capable of lowering heat gain through dispersing solar radiation. These should be mounted to the window frame to cover an entire window.
But why opt for just one window treatment when you can combine different types to further increase your energy savings. For instance, you can combine shades with blinds and use the blinds if you need light and heat or close them and lower the shades when it’s chilly. The combinations are endless. You just need to find the right window treatments that fit your specific requirements.