The Department of Energy wants you to know about cost effective ways to conserve energy by installing window treatments in your home!
One of their primary recommendations for energy conservation in the home are to install window treatments with the most effective conservation properties for your home. Not only do they add to your decor but blinds, shades, shutters and curtains can be highly effective at helping to control energy costs by keeping your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
Because of the numerous openings between the slats, it’s difficult to control heat loss through interior window blinds, but the slats offer flexibility in the summer. Unlike shades, you can adjust the slats to control light and ventilation.
For example, when completely closed and lowered on a sunny window, highly reflective blinds can reduce heat gain by around 45%. They can also be adjusted to block and reflect direct sunlight onto a light-colored ceiling. A light-colored ceiling will diffuse the light without much heat or glare.
Draperies provide beauty and style to a room while reducing heat loss and gain. There are several factors that contribute to the draperies quality of energy conservation including the type, weight and transparency of fabric as well as the color.
Though it’s difficult to predict the exact amount of reflectivity your custom drapes may have, there are several consistent factors that will dramatically increase the energy conservation factors your drapes may have.
Studies show medium colored draperies with white-plastic backings can reduce heat gains by 33%.
When drawn during cold weather, most conventional draperies can reduce heat loss from room by up to 10%.
To use your custom window treatments for the most effective energy effectiveness, in winter, you should close all draperies at night, as well as draperies that don’t receive sunlight during the day. During summer days, you should close draperies on windows receiving direct sunlight to prevent heat gain. Draperies also stay cooler in the summer than some other window treatments because their pleats and folds lose heat through convection.
When properly installed, room darkening or solar window shades can be one of the simplest and most effective window treatments for saving energy. Shades should be mounted as close to the glass as possible with the sides of the shade held close to the wall to establish a sealed air space. You should lower shades on sunlit windows in the summer. Shades on the south side of a house should be raised in the winter during the day, then lowered during the night.
For greater efficiency, use dual solar shades—highly reflective (white) on one side and heat absorbing (dark) on the other side—that can be reversed with the seasons. The reflective surface should always face the warmest side—outward during the cooling season and inward during the heating season, and they need to be drawn all day to be effective.
Quilted roller shades and some types of Roman shades feature several layers of fiber batting and sealed edges. These shades act as both insulation and air barrier, and control air infiltration more effectively than other soft window treatments.
Pleated or Cellular Shades
Window shutters, also called Plantation Shutters can help reduce heat gain and loss in your home.
Interior shutters need a clear space to the side of the window when they’re opened. They also require hardware that is fastened to the window jams or trim.
Information from http://www.energy.gov