Window treatments are typically selected for privacy and home décor, but did you know that they can also help you save energy? In addition to privacy, window treatments also help keep our homes cool in summer, warm in winter, and help you sleep better in a darkened space. Read on to learn how adding window treatments to your home can help save you money!
Besides adding a Parisian touch to the exterior of your home, awnings and overhangs protect your doors and windows from the scorching sun and pelting rain. Studies have shown that awnings have reduced solar heat gain in the summer by up to 65% on south-facing windows and 77% on west-facing windows. This reduction in solar heat gain can translate directly into energy savings.
Awnings come in a variety of materials like metal, canvas, and synthetic fabrics. While metal and canvas awnings require replacing every 5 years, synthetic fabrics are waterproof and mildew resistant. They come in various sizes, colors, and shapes. Most of them are retractable, so you can collapse the awnings when desired.
Installing roof overhangs over south-facing windows can effectively shade your home during the summer seasons by preventing the sun from heating up the interior. Overhangs also protect the windows, doors, and walls from rain, snow, and wind. Keep in mind, there are multiple factors to be considered before installing overhangs like latitude, climate, and window size.
Shades are the simplest and most effective window treatments you can install to save energy. They must be installed as close to the window pane as possible to create a cushion of insulating air.
Roman Shades: These shades are made of a single sheet of fabric that can be folded horizontally. They offer protection against sunlight, and can also provide insulation that will help keep your energy bills down.
Cellular Shades: These less common shades feature honeycomb pockets which trap air, and are therefore highly efficient in saving energy by keeping your home warm in winter and cool in summer.
Woven wood shades: These wooden shades are made of natural materials like wood, grass, bamboo, or reeds. They add natural element to your home décor, and are effective in cooling rooms.
Blinds are most effective in summer, when they block warm sunlight from entering your windows, but in winter, they prevent heat entry rather than heat loss. Interior blinds are typically adjustable, allowing you to maintain the desired amount of light, ventilation, and privacy in your home. Try keeping the blinds closed in summertime and open in winter to maximize energy efficiency.
Exterior blinds are more effective in saving energy compared to interior blinds, as they prevent heat from escaping through the windows and subsequently warm up the interior. Unlike interior blinds which are made of fabrics, exterior blinds can be made from wood, steel, aluminum, or vinyl. In addition to energy savings, they also add elements of architectural aesthetics to the exterior of your home.
Louvered shutters offer flexibility in regulating the amount of sunlight and heat that enter your rooms. They also help to insulate sound and protect your home in hazardous weather conditions. Shutters can be combined with other window settings for maximized efficiency.
High-reflectivity window films work best in geographical areas that have short winters. They reflect the majority of sunlight that hits the window, thus keeping your rooms cooler. By blocking 99% of UV rays that would otherwise enter your home, they can even prevent the fading of furniture! These films let in a moderate amount of light without compromising your privacy, so you don’t have to depend on artificial interior lighting during the daytime.
These screens can be made of aluminum, fiberglass, metal wire, nylon, or polyester, and act as an effective barrier against sunlight. They protect the interior spaces by repelling debris, leaves, and insects without impeding the ventilation process. As an added benefit, they can also block the glare that appears on TV screens and mirrors that are positioned near sunny windows.