Know What is an Energy Efficient Window – Save Energy and Reduce Your Bills
Besides giving a peep inside the outer world, windows keep your house ventilated and well lit. Keeping them bare is a good idea but ‘wisely’ choosing window coverings for them is better. With a complete look and flexibility in light control, a good window treatment can also cut down your electricity bills to a considerable extent. To your surprise, the US Department of Energy believes that around 25% of the annual heating and cooling bills are because of air leakage through your windows. If not dressed wisely, the leakage can increase up to 40% too.
Are You Thinking of Installing a New Pair of Windows?
You may go for energy efficient windows. For those who are wondering, What is an energy efficient window? It is a cleverly constructed window to reduce your carbon footprint and help you maintain a comfortable temperature inside. On the other hand, if changing the windows is not on your mind, then installing an energy efficient window treatment would do most part of the job. Many of such energy saving coverings have an insulating range of R-2 to R-4. Besides adding to the beauty, they can definitely slice your electricity bills this season. To save you the effort, time, and hours of browsing on the internet, we have jotted down everything you need to know about energy efficient window treatments in this blog.
Best Window Coverings To keep Heat Out
Window Shades to Keep Heat Out
# Roller Shades: Roller shades are made of single sheets rolled into a tube-like structure. To cut down the heat loss at its max, install your roller shades as close to the glass as possible. Sticking them that close will reduce the possibility of convection currents and provide you a 28% reduction in heat gain and loss depending on the outside temperature.
# Blackout Roller Shades with Side and Sill channels: For a better performance, seal the edges of your rollers by installing side tracks and enjoy the reduction in heat loss to about 45%. If you live in areas with extreme weather conditions, go for custom roller shades with double sides and blackout options. Use the darker side to absorb the heat during winters and the lighter face to reflect the scorching heat during summers.
# Cellular Shades A.K.A Honeycomb Shades: Among the best window treatments to block heat and sun, cellular shades work marvelously when it comes to energy saving. They are made of hexagonal cells with a honeycomb-like structure which provides next level insulation inside the room. The cells trap the air and keep your house cool during summers and warm during winters. In addition to insulation, they are also equipped with UV blocking technology. Besides profound utilities, they add sheer elegance to the room they are installed in. For a clutter-free, spruce look, you can go for cordless cellular shades with motorized technology. Light on the pocket, cellular shades provide commendable light control and noise absorption too. If you live in moderate climate conditions, single or double cell cellular shades will do the job for you. On the other hand, if the temperature fluctuates a lot and you have to face extreme climatic conditions, go for triple cell cellular shades if you can manage to deal with their bulky structure and heavyweight.
# Solar Shades (Blinds That Block Out Light and Heat): If your windows expose you towards a beautiful view but the sunlight is an irksome hurdle between you and the colors of nature, you may go for solar shades. Besides providing a good amount of insulation, their translucent properties let you enjoy the outside view too. Also, solar shades are among the rare window treatments which will form a layer of ultraviolet (UV) protection, thus saving both the inhabitants and the furniture from the side effects of the blazing sun. Solar shades are also available in blackout variants to keep your room dark and cold during summers. In addition to their utilities, they offer you flexibility in sizes too. You can get them tailor-made for the patio doors, bay windows and other unconventional sized windows in the house. Use them where privacy is not an issue because when the sun sets, the inside light can expose your room to the outside view.
Blinds That Block Heat From The Sun
Blinds are usually made from horizontal slats knitted in a pull cord structure. Due to their design, they do contribute to a lot of heat loss when left open. On the contrary, you can reduce the heat loss and gain by closing them completely and sealing them against your window glass. In such a state, reflective blinds can cut down heat loss and gain to about 45%. Although they can never pose a competition to the shades, they do perform better when it comes to blocking sunlight. Their opaque structure makes them better at barring the harsh sunlight from entering your home and killing the mood.
Curtains and Drapes
An ace interior designer and a specialized in window coverings, Toni Prencipe Korby, believes that besides adding grace to the room, flowing fabric draperies can do wonders when it comes to energy saving. According to DOE, curtains and draperies with medium shades and plastic attachments can cut down heat loss and gain by 33%. Though most of their performance depends on the fabric type, the way you install them matters a great deal too.
- Hang them extremely close to the window and mount a cornice at the top of your draperies
- Layer them up using a velcro in the middle and seal the fabric at the sides to enjoy maximum efficiency
- If you live in extreme weather conditions, you can layer the curtains and blinds for a beautiful look and profound temperature control
- Go for a dark color fabric to keep the heat in during winters and pastel ones to block it during summers
- For maximum efficiency, go for the floor to ceiling draperies and thermally lined draperies as their R-values range from R-3 to R-5, depending upon the thickness, quality and kind of the fabric and interlining you use
- You can also combine them with honeycomb shades or wooden blinds to let in a ray of soft light during the mornings and block the cold air during nights
Outdoor Motorized Solar Shades and Shutters
Among the most efficient ways to stop the outside heat from messing with the inside temperature, Exterior shutters and shades are extremely effective in reducing the solar heat gain/loss. For a better response, choose the shades with the material which has smaller openings because the size of openings is directly proportionate to heat loss.
- Available in numerous kinds of materials, exterior shades and shutters are popularly made of fabric, wood, steel, aluminum, and vinyl
- Apart from the efficiency, they offer extreme flexibility over privacy and light control
- To savor a complete isolation during scorching summers or a thundering storm, lower their slats completely
- Outdoor shutters are popularly available in manually operated variants but some of them can be opened and closed through a small crack from the inside
For more information on some of the best window dresses and coverings currently in vogue, browse through Zebrablinds.com. Enjoy lower electricity bills and protect your loved ones 24/7 with our best window treatment to block sun and heat. Always happy to help, we are a call or an email away.