The Best Window Treatments for Energy Savings

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The Best Window Treatments for Energy Savings

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Going beyond privacy issues, sustainable living window treatments can be a very affordable alternative to installing full-out window replacements in order to get the best possible energy efficiency out of your windows, which are notorious energy leaks. From DIY to premade solutions, you definitely want to cover your windows when it comes to cutting costs and decorating options.

Big beautiful windows may scream luxury, but they are actually a major energy drain. Whether you have French doors leading out to a small apartment balcony or a suburban house dotted with
natural light sources, you need to know how best to handle window treatments in order to save energy and avoid outlandish energy bills.

By having well designed window treatments, you can keep warm air inside in the winter and hot air out in the summer. One of the first steps to reducing energy loss is to make sure that your windows are properly caulked and weatherstripped. If you’re not much of handy person, get a professional to do the job for you. Then you can check out various window treatment options for the best energy savings and a sustainable living lifestyle.

Awnings:
Awnings can cover individual windows or an entire side of your home. An awning can provide a
reduction of incoming sunlight of up to 65% on south-facing windows and 77% on west-facing
windows during the summer. Synthetic materials and modern hardware have made awnings easy to use so that they can help reduce heat in the summer and be rolled up to allow light in during the winter.

Blinds/Shutters:
Blinds don’t do much for heat loss in the winter, but they can prevent incoming sunrays when shut in the summer, or by angling them up onto a light-colored ceiling to spread the heat more evenly. Shutters are more efficient at blocking energy loss than blinds because they cover more of the window.

Drapery:
Although drapes and curtains are often considered decorative, if chosen in the right fabrics and hung specifically with energy savings in mind, drapes can actually provide some fairly significant energy savings. Medium colored draperies with white plastic backing can prevent as much as 33% of heat entering a room in the summer. If closed during the winter, drapes can prevent 10% of heat loss. Doubling up on drapery further increases the energy savings in a room.

Films:
Energy savings films can provide some benefits on windows that are not already energy efficient, but only on windows that face east and west. Energy savings films block sunlight, which can help prevent upholstery and photos from fading, but they also block winter sunlight, which helps to heat up a cold house. Films have other disadvantages as well, as they can distort visibility and may be difficult to maintain, as they are prone to scratching and peeling.

If your home doesn’t have  sustainable living energy saving windows, then installing window treatments can help you save energy, thereby reducing your energy bill in all seasons so that you can spring for other necessities—like energy efficient appliances.

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Sources:
http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/energy-efficient-window-treatments
http://www.efficientwindowcoverings.org

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