Window treatments can transform the feel of a room and be one of the most dramatic ways to beautify your home. But if you design your drapes, blinds and awnings wisely, they can also be a big part of your household energy efficiency strategy. If you’ve been thinking about sprucing up the place, consider choosing window decor that will help keep your HVAC bills low.
Drape Yourself in Savings
While not right for every window or room, draperies are often the most decorative and elaborate window treatments you can choose. They can also be the most helpful when it comes to staying cool in the summer and warm in the winter!
Your choice of fabric will make a big difference in your interior decor, but it’s what’s on the other side of the drapes that matters more for energy efficiency. Drapes with light-colored material facing out will reflect more sunlight, working to keep the room cool on hot days. Some designs even have shiny white plastic backings that can reflect even more sunlight.
To maximize your draperies’ potential to block out unwanted heat, they should be sealed all the way around. Let the drapes touch the ground and overlap in the center when closed, and design them so they’re flush with the wall along the sides and top.
Drapes will also keep heated air in your home in the winter, but when the sun is facing the windows, it’s usually better to open the drapes up to enjoy the free heat and light of the sun.
Sunlight Control at Your Fingertips
If you’re looking for something less ornamental and more functional, blinds and shades can also make a big difference in your HVAC efficiency. They don’t provide the same heat barrier as draperies, but they can effectively block out the sun, which is your air conditioning bill’s biggest enemy. Blinds in particular allow you to fine-tune the level of light and heat so you can find your ideal balance.
When picking out window shades, look for designs that are reversible -- light on one side and dark on the other. During warm months, placing the light side against the window will reflect unwanted heat. When winter comes, just turn the shades around to absorb free heat from the sun.
Let’s Get it Awning
It’s not just what’s on the inside that counts -- exterior awnings can also provide energy-saving shade while making your home look great. You don’t need them on every window, but installing them on south and west-facing windows can make a big difference. When possible, choose designs that are retractable or removable. That way, you can take them down for winter when you need all the sunlight and heat you can get!
Looking for more ways to stretch your climate control dollar? Get in touch with your local HVAC experts today!