How To Save Money On Heating Bills With Window Treatments
HOW TO BRING DOWN ENERGY COSTS WITH WINDOW TREATMENTS
There are some great products on the market that can cut your energy bills by a substantial amount just by investing in the proper window treatments.
You can also invest in "green products" for your windows that not only help conserve on your energy bill but are also environmentally friendly.
Let’s look at some of the window treatment options out there and how they can help save money on heating bills.
TIPS ON SAVING MONEY BY USING THE PROPER WINDOW TREATMENTS
- Always a good source to start with is your local energy
provider. Have them come over and do an
energy assessment because they can give you invaluable tips on how to minimize
your energy bill specific to your own home.
They may see many areas that you can trim the high cost of energy every month to only a few things that you need to do. You won’t know unless you ask!
- Other great sources for finding vendors if you’d like
someone to help you decide which window treatments are best for you are
www.angieslist.com and the Better Business Bureau at
- You can get in-home consultations on how best to manage your energy loss
through your windows and what treatments are best for your climate and your
specific home location.
Check out JCPenney Furniture Outlet and TJMaxx Home Goods.
- Also look on line as many window treatments
are sold at huge savings. Just make sure
you get the details on shipping (always try for free shipping) and know the
return policy if they don’t work out or are the wrong color!
- Consider making your own Roman shades if you are a
do-it-yourselfer or other energy-saving window treatments like blackout
Hang your own custom-measured blinds to save money but make sure you know what kind of blinds you’re putting up. Some are simply decorator and will block out sun for instance but offer little to nothing in the way of insulation against the cold.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR WINDOW TREATMENTS MOST EFFECTIVE IN REDUCING ENERGY COSTS
The most important thing about window treatments and saving energy (thus saving money) is about the hanging.
TIP: In other words, what you do with your window treatment has more to do with saving money than what it is made of.
- Hang drapes or curtains from ceiling to floor if at all possible to maximize energy savings. If you can’t do ceiling to floor, do ceiling to windowsill. This prevents heat from escaping through the windows
- Drapes and curtains should touch the windowsill and not be too far out from the wall to prevent heat from escaping.
- For winter, the best drapes are ones that are double sided – a white inside backing (which helps in cooling for summer) and then the outside decorator fabric. They should cover the window completely and overlap in the center when closed.
- In winter, you can Velcro or use other methods such as magnetic tape to keep them close to the wall to block out cold drafts. This is recommended by the Department of Energy to maximize your energy efficiency.
- For maximization of keeping heat in, top your windows with a cornice to trap air and keep heat from floating up to the ceiling.
- Close drapes and curtains at night when temperatures are their lowest to retain maximal heat.
- Look for the R-value on all window treatments. The higher the R-value, the better the insulation it provides.
- Add solar window film to your windows. It traps heat inside in winter and blocks heat or reflects it back outside in summer.
- Medium color drapes and curtains are best because they will not absorb as much heat in summertime.
- Insulating shades are another way to conserve heat in winter and block warmth in summer. They also provide a great insulation factor because they are inside the window. You can use a lighter curtain or drapery if you have inside-the-window shades.
- Buy reversible shades – 1 side dark and 1 side light. Reverse them in winter and summer for the maximum energy conservation.
HOW MUCH CAN YOU SAVE USING WINDOW TREATMENTS TO CONSERVE ENERGY?
How much can you save? With the simplest of the above solutions such as a good fitting pair of curtains or drapes, you can save 10% of your energy lost out the window.
With techniques such as adding a cornice at the top of the windows or making sure that there is a seal around the windows such as securing them with Velcro or magnetic tape, or having insulated shades, you can save up to 25% of your heat loss.
Hunter Douglas has a new shade called a honeycomb blinds which acts like a double shade and they claim to be able to save you 50% of your heat loss. They are said to repel heat and send it back into the room while blocking the cold air from outside.
ESTIMATED COST SAVINGS
Curtains properly fit
Properly fitting draperies
Using Velcro or magnetic tape
Adding insulated shades
Honeycomb blinds by Hunter Douglas
GREEN ALTERNATIVES – SAVE A TREE
- Wood - If you’re thinking wood blinds for instance, pick blinds that are made from wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
- Faux blinds and shutters – these are made from recycled compressed wood
- Bamboo – these are really great looking and are a natural material but are not the most energy efficient because of the loose weave of bamboo products. Bamboo rods are great though!
- Recycled aluminum – Hunter Douglas offers horizontal blinds made of 70% to 95% recycled material. Easy to care for and durable.
- Fabrics that are green. Buy insulated draperies or fabrics or thick drapes with thermal lining. Go with fabrics also that are naturally green such as silk, hemp, cotton, or even recycled polyester.
TIPS ON USING WINDOW TREATMENTS TO CUT ENERGY COSTS
No matter what window treatment you choose to save energy with, the most important factor is you!
No window treatment will be energy efficient if you aren’t.
Exercise good judgment such as closing off rooms that aren’t in use.
Keep drapes drawn in summer to block heat in the hottest part of the day.
Run fans more, open windows when cool to cool down the house naturally.
Keep drapes drawn at night in the coldest part of the day and to trap in heat.
Use natural sunshine during winter months to warm your rooms but close off the windows as soon as the temperature starts to drop.
You can save money using some of these tips – look for the R-factor when buying draperies and window treatments and also look for the shading coefficient – this measures the heat that comes in through the window treatment.
While the R-factor should be higher in number indicating better insulation, the coefficient for shading should be the lowest number possible. That means you’re getting the most from your window treatment.
If you have more money-saving suggestions on how to use window treatments to bring down energy costs, please leave your comment below.
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