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November
20

According to the US Department of Energy (DOE), heat gained by solar energy can be reduced by as much as thirty-three percent when homeowners simply hang medium-colored drapes backed with white plastic. The next time you think about new window treatments, consider the fact that you could actually be paying for them with the money you'll save.

Here are some money saving window treatments for your consideration:

 

Shades

When properly installed, window shades are the most effective, and simplest, treatment to save energy. A tight seal, which minimizes both heat gain and loss, is created when shades are mounted as close to the glass as possible. Shades with dual-sided two-toned fabric (a light color on one side and a darker on the other) add seasonal functionality. Light color reflects heat in summer, while dark will absorb heat during winter.

Best place to install: Because window shades are so flexible, any window orientation is suitable.

 

Blinds

Blinds are a great option for reducing heat gain by up to forty-five percent (when using reflective blinds closed against direct sun). Both interior and exterior blinds are functional as well as able to maintain desired light, ventilation, and privacy. Because exterior blinds block heat before it can be transmitted through the window, they are potentially even more effective than interior blinds. However, they are not easy to install so are usually reserved for new builds.

Best place to install: Windows facing south or west.

 

Drapes

Depending on the fabric weight and color you choose, drapes help insulate your home from both solar heat gain and loss. A tight seal is recommended the best performance. When hanging drapes, you'll want to install them as close to the window as possible, preferably from a cornice or right up to the ceiling down to the floor.

Best place to install: Anywhere because of their flexibility.

 

Awnings

If your home is in an area with continual high temperatures, awnings may be perfect for you. Besides adding personality to your home, these treatments are an excellent defense against the sun. Exterior awnings have reduced solar heat gain by up to sixty-five percent for south-facing windows and seventy-seven percent for west-facing windows.

Ideal locations: Windows facing south or west.

Features to consider:

  • Opaque and tightly woven fabric blocks sun better than flimsy fabrics

  • Light-colored awnings reflect more sunlight than dark

  • Awnings can trap hot air next to windows, so the DOE recommends openings for ventilation

  • Retractable awnings will allow sunlight to reach inside the house during colder months

 

Roof Overhangs

Similar to an awning, a roof overhang will not only will block solar heat in summer, but will allow heat to warm your interior in winter—if designed properly. You'll want to consult an architect or a designer experienced in passive solar design who will consider several factors, like latitude, climate, and window size, to help you design your overhang(s).

Ideal locations: South-facing windows.

 

High Reflectivity Film

Areas with short winters often rely on high reflectivity film. The film reduces heat gain all year long, including in winter months, which might actually benefit from solar heat. It's typically installed in rooms where cooler temperatures are desired.

Best place to install: Windows facing east or west.

 

Mesh Window Screens

By diffusing solar radiation, mesh window screens are able to reduce heat gain. Energy saving experts suggest installing the screens to an exterior frame where they can cover the entire window.

Best place to install: Windows facing east or west.

 

For more tips on how to improve your windows

and window treatments contact one of our agents.

 

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