How Can Window Coverings Reduce Energy Costs?
Probably the first reason you selected your window coverings was because they look great! But did you know they can also help with your energy bill?
Your curtains, draperies, shades, shutters, and blinds can help keep the summer heat out and the winter heat in. How much depends on where you live, the direction your windows face, and whether nearby trees and buildings shade your windows. But any savings is good for your budget, right?
As much as 50% of your home’s heating and cooling energy can be lost through your windows. Use your window coverings to block out that hot sun in the summer, especially on windows that face south or west. In the winter, open the shades during the day to let the sun’s heat in. Then close them at night to keep it in.
Window coverings come in all kinds and provide varying degrees of heat management. That’s why Hunter Douglas uses a 5-star rating system to indicate the insulation and solar heat control provided by each of their products. Their new Duette Architella shades, for example, have a 4 to 5-star rating on both insulating and solar heat control properties.
Layers are key. The Duette Architella has an extra layer inside the honeycomb. Some Hunter Douglas products can be ordered with a rear shade that can be operated independently, providing an extra layer of light and heat control. Combining shutters, shades, or blinds with draperies that can close will also create insulating pockets of air and help reduce your energy bills.
Of course, you can add other heat control options like tinted window coverings or exterior awnings and shades. But why not take advantage of the window coverings you already have?
Draperies are combined with shades. The draperies can be pulled shut to add an extra layer of protection from the outdoor temperatures.
Two layers of draperies provide light control as well as some insulation from the outdoor cold and heat.
Roman shades on the door and blinds combined with draperies add decorative accents that will help keep the room more comfortable while providing privacy.
Understanding Energy Efficiency of Draperies and Curtains
Draperies – How They Reduce Heat Loss and Keep Your Home Cool
A drapery’s ability to reduce heat loss and gain depends on several factors, including fabric type (closed or open weave) and color. With such a wide variety of draperies available, it’s difficult to generalize about their energy performance.
During summer days, you should close draperies on windows receiving direct sunlight to prevent heat gain. Studies demonstrate that medium-colored draperies with white-plastic backings can reduce heat gains by 33%. Draperies also stay cooler in the summer than
some other window treatments because their pleats and folds lose heat through convection.
When drawn during cold weather, most conventional draperies can reduce heat loss from a warm room up to 10%. Therefore, in winter, you should close all draperies at night, as well as draperies that don’t receive sunlight during the day.
How to Hang Your Drapes to Promote Energy Efficiency
To reduce heat exchange or convection, draperies should be hung as close to windows as possible. Also let them fall onto a windowsill or floor. For maximum effectiveness, you should install a cornice at the top of a drapery or place the drapery against the ceiling. Then seal the drapery at both sides and overlap it in the center. You can use Velcro or magnetic tape to attach drapes to the wall at the sides and bottom. If you do these things, you may reduce heat loss up to 25%.
Two draperies hung together will create a tighter air space than just one drapery. One advantage is that the room-side drapery will maintain around the same temperature as the interior space, adding to a room’s comfort.
Shades – A Simple Way to Reduce Energy Costs
When properly installed, 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 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
Several manufacturers have designed two- or three-cell pleated or cellular shades with dead air spaces, which increase their insulating value. These shades, however, provide only slight control of air infiltration.
We’re so glad you stopped by to read our blog. If you need custom window treatments in the Greater Cincinnati Area, Call Window Accents or stop by our showroom in Loveland, OH. Want to shop from the comfort of your home? Check out our Shop at Home service!
Window Accents Inc.
920 Loveland Madeira Road
Loveland OH, 45140
Call Today: (513) 398-5798