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The Impact of Window Treatments on Energy Usage


Wood Shutters – The Distinctive Window Coverings


“Personal transformation can and does have global effects. As we go, so goes the world, for the world is us. The revolution that will save the world is ultimately a personal one.”
Marianne Williamson


I strongly believe that any revolutionary change that takes place in the world starts at home. I have advocated a greener planet and practiced a safe lifestyle that would leave a minimum carbon footprint on our planet since I have become aware of the ecological imbalance our planet is facing. My family agrees with me and supports me in my passion. My children usually pick up projects that promote saving our planet in school, which has been always appreciated by their teachers.


When we moved into a new 2,600 square foot, two-story house, I decided to make sure that we would take all the measures needed save on energy. Without proper measures, this house could consume lot more energy than is required by a family of five. Though with my promotion, I did not have to worry about the utility bills anymore since my company was paying for them, I knew that we should not unnecessarily contribute to energy crisis prevalent in the world today. We loved our new home that had the mechanical system that uses a gas furnace for heating and electric air conditioning for cooling. We have large windows that are equally distributed on all the four sides of our home.


The first step towards keeping the home cooler was already taken up by the designer who had overhangs mounted directly above all the window frame with a 2-foot projection. That prevented the sun rays from directly hitting the windows, preventing heat gain inside the home. In Austin, it is more of heat gain that I have to worry about than the heat loss since we have hot and humid climate on most of the days. In a city that has a humid subtropical climate, we have hot summers and mild winters with occasional cool nights during winters. We receive a lot of sunshine throughout the year. During summers, the AC doesn’t seem to catch a break with temperatures soaring to the 90’s during of July and August. On the other extreme, we have to bear the brunt of snowstorms now and then, which does cripple our everyday life to a great extent.


Keeping in mind the climate of our region, we could not ignore the impact window treatments would have on our indoor ambience. When we moved into our new home, we had to make a few changes to accommodate our personal preferences and tastes, though there were no repairs required. We were lucky to have the Norman motorized shutters installed on all of the windows; they came with the house. I love wood shutters that are distinctive window coverings with lustrous looks. These wood shutters bring calmness and a balmy feel to the indoor ambience through their modern style and unique architectural artwork. They are exclusive ornamental elements for windows providing protection, as well as a prepossessing look. Moreover, Norman shutters come with manufacturer’s limited lifetime warranty on building materials and workmanship.

I was more than happy to get the Normandy wood shutters from a renowned brand like Norman for a throwaway price along with the house. They are an asset to home value since they are made of real wood with Prescription Wood Conditioning technique. This unique technique reduces the post-installation shrinking and swelling of the wood besides ensuring the durability of the shutters for a long time run. A wide range of frames hides the installation screws to give a clean and uncluttered look to the windows. These shutters are robust and firm since they have reinforced engineered stiles that would come handy during the storms. The multiple layers of woods ensure the structural stability to the shutter panel and make them extremely durable for everyday use as well, which was necessary for a home with three growing up energetic children.


The shutters had Rabbet stills that effectively blocked natural outdoor light between panels to provide good enough light control option for our rooms. The mortise and tenon joinery resist the racking forces and ensure the maximum durability and stability to the shutters. Each shutter has hand finished paint and stain for a brilliant workmanship showcase, and this handcrafted look will give me great aesthetic pleasure when I looked towards our windows. I was glad that the shutters had motorized option that was preferable to our family since it increases the safety for kids.


With the huge windows on all four sides of the house, these windows would have little capability in reducing solar heat gain in the past, because they were not designed with the typical pattern followed for energy-efficient houses in hot climates. But the effectiveness of the wood shutters to protect windows from significant solar gain balanced things out effectively. Even in the rooms that had windows facing west or east, we did not see much temperature variation either in the morning or evening. I realized that the traditional patterns of avoiding east- and west-facing windows were not as critical when high-performance windows treatments are used.


Satisfied that we are not consuming more energy than required, I happily settled down in my home with my family. My kids were happy with their rooms that had an amazing view to the outdoors. I decided to tackle our hot climate further by planting some trees with broad leaves around our home, but that was for a future project. For now, I had everything that would make me happy – my family, a home and a job that helped me take care of my loved ones.




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