Energy Efficient Window Treatments

Energy Efficient HomeDid you know that there are window treatments that are not only beautiful but also help save on heating and cooling costs year round?

Right now there are additional saving available on energy efficient window treatments in the form of government tax incentives and a fall promotion on select Hunter Douglas products. Remember to take advantage of tax incentives consult a tax professional.

Keep in mind: For maximum energy savings, we recommend pairing your window treatments with an automated system.  By automating your window treatments you can set window treatments to close and open according to a schedule.  Many times blinds, drapes and other window treatments can be inconvenient to manually adjust.  Automation allows for maximum control and stunning light effects throughout your home.

Energy Saving features by type of window treatment.

Blinds

aluminum-blinds-BathroomWindow blinds in either horizontal or vertical style offer significant reduction of heat build up in warmer months.  The effect they have is limited compared to other more energy efficient treatments.  Gaps between the blinds make it harder to control heat loss as air flows freely around the openings.  Blinds allow you to adjust the slats to control light.  When completely closed and lowered, reflective blinds can reduce heat gain by up to 45%!  Reflective blinds can be adjusted to reflect incoming light onto a light colored ceiling to diffuse light with out glare or significant increase in heat.(Automation)

Draperies

The energy efficiency gains from draperies is largely dependent on the type of fabric used and color.  Because there are so many type of draperies available today it is hard to generalize typical energy savings from draperies.

To gain efficiency from drapes, follow these instructions and you’ll see savings on heating and cooling bills.

Summer Time

Close draperies on windows that receive direct sunlight to prevent heat build-up.  Draperies with white linings offer the most heat reduction.  Draperies stay cooler in the summer than some other window treatments because their folds and pleats lose heat through convection.

Winter time

Conventional drape have been found effective at reducing heat loss by around 10%.  To maximize your savings in the winter you should close all drapes at night and keep drapes closed all the time on windows that do not receive any light from the sun during the day.(automation)

drapes-2To prevent heat exchange(convection), hang drapes as close to the window as possible.  Let your drapes fall onto the floor or windowsill.  For maximum effectiveness it is recommended that you install a top treatment, such as a cornice or mount the draperies so that it meets with the ceiling.  An additional step that maximizes efficiency is to seal the drapery at both sides and allow it to overlap in the center.  By following these tips you can reduce heat loss by up to 25%!

To add extra style to your home and gain an extra efficiency boost, think about hanging two drapes together.  Typically, we line draperies with a with either a light filtering lining or a blackout lining. A second layer creates an air barrier between the drapes and helps control interior temperature.

We also recommend adding an additional felt layer between the primary fabric and the lining.  This additional layer is called ‘interlining,’ it helps increase the insulating capabilities of the drapes.  It is much like dressing in layers on a cold day.

Shades

brooklyn-1If installed properly window shades are both one of the simplest and most effective window treatments to increase energy savings.  Shades should be mounted as close to the glass as possible with the sides of the shade as close to the wall as possible.  This creates a sealed air space and maintains interior temperatures effectively.

There are many types of shades to pick from and some shades have much greater energy efficiency than others.  On a basic level look for dual sided shades with a reflective side and a dark energy absorbing side.  More advanced shade options include pairing shades with sheers and more.  Quilted, Roman, and traditional roller shades may feature extra layers of material and batting  to increase insulation.  Compared to other window treatments soft shades may be more effective than other soft window treatments.

Cellular or Pleated Shades

Hunter Douglas has designed several types of cellular shades, including the Duetta Architella.  The Duetta Architella is the most energy efficient shades on the market.  Cellular shades create a insulation layer between the sheets of dead air, this greatly increases their insulating value. However these shades allow for the passage of air.

Shutters

Window shutters in a country home.Interior window shutter can help reduce heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer.  Like window blinds shutters work best for summer shading.  Lovers allow for light and air to pass into a room while blocking unwanted heat. As shutters are not sealed and allow the passage of air they do not protect against heat loss in the winter.

Shutters with a solid construction of wood will provide the most energy efficiency in both summer and winter compared to metal or vinyl. For maximum energy efficiency, combine shutters with other window treatments that have greater insulating  such as draperies or curtains

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