Believe it or not, window treatments can actually help you to save money by reducing your energy bills. You are probably intrigued to find out more. After all, who doesn’t like saving money?, Read on as we guide you through the most effective, energy-efficient window treatments and where you can get them.
The US Department of Energy has released a list of energy-efficient window treatments that you can use at home. In this comprehensive guide, we shall be presenting their pros and cons to allow you to make an informed decision.
Window Treatments And Energy Efficiency: How Does it Work?
There are two criteria you need to bear in mind to test how efficient window treatments are. These are insulation and light control. Nowadays, window treatments like blinds and shades are designed to address these two elements. If wrong solutions are chosen, you can easily be paying over the odds for your energy (heating and Air Conditioning) in the long run.
The insulation capabilities of any window treatment are truly a litmus test for its effectiveness. Insulation is indeed needed especially during the winter season. If you are using sub-standard window treatments, chances are the hot air inside your home will sneak out. This is through the leaks in your windows. Harmless as it may seem, this is one of the reasons why your energy consumption can spike.
When you have a durable window treatment, it will help insulate any room, resulting in an extra layer of comfort for the whole family.
On the other hand, light control works great during summer. Because it’s hot outside, you don’t want unnecessary heat coming from solar lights to enter your home. If not treated well, the home can endure unbearable and uncomfortable heat. But with well-thought window treatments, this problem will not exist.
Why Use Energy-Efficient Window Treatments?
Here is a fun fact – almost 30% of our home’s energy (both heating and cooling) is lost through our windows. Needless to say, without proper window treatments, this can be significantly higher, which can severely hurt your pockets.
With proper window treatments, you can save a lot without sacrificing your family’s comfort. Of course, there are important things you need to consider like the materials you are using. Whatever the choice, from fabric to wood and vinyl, there’s a long list of options available in the market today, all of which will play their part in helping you to save on your energy bills.
5 Window Treatments That Can Help You Save on Your Energy Bills (With Blindio Rating)
Below are our choices for energy-efficient window treatments. We have chosen this selection based on our own experience, plus aggregated reviews from homeowners.
Aside from good insulation, we have also considered the style and aesthetics. When combined, we are confident that they can deliver.
1. Roman Shades
Choose these if: You are trying to achieve sophistication in any room
You will love these for Their elegance
Perfect for: Your living room
Blindio Energy-Efficiency Rating: 95%
There is no doubt about it: roman shades are the window treatment of choice of interior designers aiming to add the flavor of romanticism to any room. They deliver an almost minimalist look, aided by soft drapes, making them a runaway winner in both style and aesthetics.
More than sophistication, they perform well in energy efficiency. This is because they offer a thick layer of insulation to any window. Thanks to their heavy and pleated fabric, roman shades are indeed one of the most energy-efficient window treatments on the market today.
They are especially useful during winter when they effectively block the heat from escaping from the room. Aside from heavy fabrics, lighter fabrics are also available for those who prefer.
2. Plantation Shutters
Choose these if: You need little light to sneak into your room
You will love these for Their timelessness
Perfect for: Rooms with rustic vibes
Blindio Energy-Efficiency Rating: 92%
How do plantation shutters work in the energy efficiency department? Their effectiveness to help you save on energy bills is due to their solid and rigid material. Their construction allows tight closing with few gaps where heat or cold can sneak out. Hence, plantation shutters are perfect for both winter and summer seasons.
Plantation shutters are also good at light control in any room. Why? Because they are structured right up against the window frame, covering all four corners. This stops light from entering, or at the very least, minimizes the amount of light that can penetrate inside your room.
During summer, you can close the louvers to block light and heat. Note that there are also shutters that are designed like a door. Needless to say, they can be opened how a door is opened. This can be extremely helpful during winter. Opening them like a door only when wanting to let more natural sunlight in will truly keep you warm.
Aside from their wonders in helping you save energy consumption, plantation shutters are also stylish, too! Install them in your home and you will achieve an element of timelessness in your abode!
3. Drapes And Curtains
Choose these if: you are aiming to achieve that Victorian look
You will love these for their wide range of style options
Perfect for: living rooms, or any rooms, with large windows
Blindio Energy-Efficiency Rating: 98%
If you are looking for a stylish window treatment that is energy-efficient, you can never go wrong with drapes and curtains. Both of these are excellent choices in window insulation. How does it work? They are naturally attached to the outer frame of the window. This structure and coverage assures that the entirety of your window is covered, thus maximizing its potential for insulation.
You have to take note that drapes and curtains come in different styles. So, your fabric of choice will also dictate the level of insulation of the drapes and curtains.
Pro Tip: Opt for thicker fabrics as it provides more insulation. Medium-toned colors as your choice for your drapes and curtains tend to absorb light from the outside. You can increase the level of insulation by adding layers of draperies.
4. Cellular Shades
Choose these if: you intend to go minimal
You will love these for their Functionality
Perfect for: rooms with smaller windows
Blindio Energy-Efficiency Rating: 97%
Cellular shades are one of the most energy-efficient window treatments on the market today. Cellular shades are excellent at reducing the conduction of heat through your windows. In other words, they are pretty effective in preventing heat transfer. This is due to their construction and design, characterized by their pleated fabric.
This pleated fabric is responsible for creating a series of air pockets. These air pockets serve as insulators, keeping indoor temperatures bearable regardless of the weather conditions outside.
Needless to say, cellular shades are indeed effective at reducing energy loss in your home. During winter, cellular shades trap heat; and during summer, keep things cool inside your house.
Choose these if: you want to add personality to your home
You will love these for multi-purpose use
Perfect for: rooms that are directly hit by the sun
Blindio Energy-Efficiency Rating: 90%
Even before the invention of air conditioning, awnings were already a reliable tool for blocking sunlight from entering a room. As they are designed this way, awnings are helpful in reducing your energy bills at home.
Did you know that installing an awning on your home will result in a 65% reduction of solar heat gain through your windows? This is especially helpful during summer. During winter, on the other hand, awnings also allow the sun to shine through, thus providing that much-needed warmth during the colder months.
There are many types of awnings available on the market from materials like wood, vinyl, aluminum, or cloth to more expensive modern awnings with smart controls and motorization.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Can The Energy Efficiency of Windows Be Improved?
It would significantly help if you put window caulk and weatherstrips to prevent air leaks. We all know that hot and cold air enters a room through the leaks between the glass, and the window frame. Adding caulk and doing weather stripping is relatively cheap so you will be able to significantly improve the energy efficiency of your window treatments.
Just a warning though: in order to maximize this strategy, you need to apply weatherstripping to areas that can handle friction and weather changes. When applying caulk, make sure that you are installing it on the sides and joints and other areas that are stationary.
Aside From Window Treatments, What Else Can I Do To Increase The Energy Efficiency of My Windows?
While window treatments can help, you need to make sure that other aspects are also covered to ensure the maximum energy efficiency of your windows. The single most important consideration is investing in good frames.
Why? The frames will dictate the thermal performance of your windows and even doors. Remember that energy can be gained — and lost — through window frames. A careful choice of frame should not only be considered design-wise but also functionality-wise.
Is Thicker Glass More Energy Efficient?
Believe it or not, the thickness of the glass is only associated with the strength or architectural foundation of a window. It has no impact on the performance in energy efficiency. Hence, in designing your windows, you are free to select which glass type you are going to use!
We get your frustration, your energy bills are rising. After reading this guide, we are hoping that you have gotten some useful information to guide you in choosing the great window treatment for your home whilst saving some pennies at the same time.
Remember, your window treatments will not only equate to savings on energy consumption, they also help protect your family from harmful ultraviolet rays and other harsh weather conditions.