Air conditioning is one of the most revolutionary modern inventions, but running it nonstop during a heat wave will have you paying dearly for your comfort. Fortunately, Shades Shutters Blinds can help! Using blinds, shades, and other window treatments such as shutters can help you keep your house cool withOUT breaking the bank.
Did you know utilizing window treatments to their full potential can help you reduce heat gain in your home by up to 77%? (Source : Department of Energy) We’ve written about how blinds and shades can keep your home warm in the winter, but the inverse is true as well. Below are some energy saving suggestions from the Department of Energy that you’ll wish you heard about sooner!
When properly installed, window shades are one of the simplest and most effective ways to save energy, but they need to be drawn all day to work. Mount them as close to the glass as possible within the window frame, creating a sealed space. Reversible shades that are white on one side and dark on the other can be switched with the seasons with the white side reflecting the sun in the summer and the dark side absorbing it in the winter. Roman shades with several layers of fiber batting act as both insulation and an air barrier and are more effective than other soft window treatments.
Because of the horizontal slats, it’s difficult to control heat loss through interior window blinds, although they do offer some flexibility. Unlike shades, you can adjust the slats to control light and ventilation. When completely closed, highly reflective blinds can reduce heat gain by around 45 percent, says the DOE. They can also be adjusted to block and reflect direct sunlight onto a light-colored ceiling, which diffuses the light without much heat or glare.
Window awnings can reduce solar heat gain by up to 65 percent on south-facing windows and 77 percent on west-facing windows, according to the DOE. For best results choose awnings in light colors that reflect more sunlight. In the winter, you can roll up retractable awnings to let the sun warm up your house.
Curtains and drapes
On summer days, keep your curtains closed. “Particularly on the side of the house or apartment where the sun is coming in,” says Allen Drury, a representative of Con Edison.
The ability of curtains and drapes to reduce heat gain depends on fabric type (closed or open weave) and color. Studies show that medium-colored draperies with white plastic backings can reduce heat gain by 33 percent, according to the DOE. Hang the curtains as close to the window as possible. For maximum effect, install a cornice at the top of the draperies, seal the draperies at the sides, and overlap them in the middle using Velcro or tape.
Window films are best for homes in regions with long cooling seasons. Silver, mirror-like films typically are more effective than colored, more transparent films, and east- and west-facing windows benefit most because of their greater potential for heat gain. Keep in mind that reflective films are tricky to clean and may affect your view.