Energy-efficient window treatments can save quite a lot on the monthly electricity bills with the following tips.
Window treatments are great for decorating the windows and adding that extra touch to the room, and recently they have been used more and more to save energy at home. Not every window treatment will help in saving on electricity bills, particularly during the cold months of winter, but there are some that really fit the profile. One thing that window treatments are not good at, however, is reducing any air leakages or infiltration.
Some of the energy-efficient window coverings are awnings, window blinds, draperies, winter storm panels and shutters for windows.
Residential energy efficiency is quite important nowadays when the electricity bills are so expensive, so every bit truly helps. Inefficient windows are basically holes that allow the cold air to enter the room very easily. This means that the heating system has to work harder to keep the room warm. This in turn means higher gas or electricity bills.
Summer brings with it is own set of problems for the windows. They should be protected from direct sunlight particularly in areas that use regularly air conditioners to keep the room warm. When too much sun enters the house, the AC has to run overtime just to bring more cool air into the room. Again, wasted energy and higher electricity bills. Particularly homes with large window areas can greatly benefit from energy-efficient window treatments.
Using Awnings To Reduce Energy Consumption
Window awnings are great in reducing solar heat in the summer by up to 65% if the windows are facing south and up to 77% if they are facing west. While earlier on they were made of canvas or metal, these days there are much better materials available for saving energy, including acrylic or polyvinyl laminates, both which are synthetic fabrics.
It is best to choose a material that is opaque and has a tightly woven fabric. If the awning is lighter in color, the sun rays will easier enter the room.
Window Blinds Also Reduce Summer Heat
Blinds are also great at keeping the sun rays at bay during summer. Whether they are horizontal or vertical, both work equally well. Their strength is more visible in summer than in winter. The interior blinds can reduce the heat gain by approximately 45% when the sun is full up.
The external blinds are made of wood, aluminum, vinyl or steel and they are usually installed above the windows. Depending on how much they are lowered they do let some sunshine enter the room.
Draperies For Reducing Heat Loss In Winter
Draperies are mostly used to minimize the loss of heat during winter. They are not so useful in summer for energy saving, however they do provide some cooler air. During cold weather they can actually reduce the heat loss up to 33%, depending on the type and color of material.
If two drapes are hung together there is a better chance of the drapes doing the work they are supposed to do due to the tighter air space that they provide combined.
Storm Panels Are Great For Keeping Warm During Winter
Storm panels can actually minimize the heat loss up to 50% during winter. They can be added either to the outside or inside or a window. These panels are only useful during the cold winter months and when the warmer time is approaching they should go up. When the colder temperatures are expected they should be lowered again. Windows with awnings will mostly benefit from these window treatments.
Shutters For Windows Can Be Used Both In Winter And In Summer
Shutters are very useful throughout the whole year. If they are installed properly they will be able to provide with a very strong insulation against harsh weather conditions, while at the same time offering an extra layer or security for the room.
For an even better insulation shutters can be combined with other various window coverings, including arch window treatments for arched or Palladian windows.