Energy Efficient Window Treatments That Will Save You Money

The expression �window treatments� is a broad term that describes any changes or customization applied to your home�s shutters, blinds, shades, or glass. This means there is a great deal of diversity when it comes to the sheer amount of options your windows can have.  Wooden shutters, aluminum blinds, curtains, drapery, or even the window�s molding can all be altered and tailored to suit your preferences. Some options however, aren't just for aesthetic appeal. There are a few window treatments that are energy efficient to the point where they can save you money on your monthly bills.  

The Basics

Did you know that fifty percent of your home�s cooling and heat energy is lost through your windows? This means that with proper application, you can turn your window into a real energy saver. Firstly, make sure all your windows are properly insulated and have no drafts coming through. Weather stripping isn't necessary but can certainly help. Be sure to have caulking around the basement and storm windows. The simple act of keeping your windows locked can add a great deal to the energy efficiency of your home. In the winter, you can actually open your window coverings during the day to catch solar heat, and then close them again at night to lock the heat in.

Honeycomb Shades

This unique style of window treatment is named after the inspired design of honey bees� natural hive architecture. Structurally, the cells can actually keep air from either entering or exiting your home, depending on the temperature. They are typically best suited for larger or wider windows that see a lot of sunlight.

Solar Shades

These new window treatments are the ultimate in blocking out harmful ultraviolet radiation and keeping your scenic view unhindered. The shades effectively block sunlight, glare, and heat while preserving visibility. While this alone can cut down on your cooling bills significantly, there are also high performance solar shades available that sacrifice a little bit of appealing aesthetics for greatly improved energy efficiency. The amount you�ll save on your monthly bills will be very noticeable.

Hardwood Shutters

Many homes already use these window treatments without realizing how energy efficient they are. Simply due to the wooden barricade they form around your windows, they block out heat during the summer sun, and trap in the warmth during the winter nights. It�s a very low tech and affordable approach to making your home just a little more green.

Window Film

While not quite as cost saving as the other options, applying UV blocking film to your glass can save the interior of your home in the long run. The material blocks ultraviolet rays before they enter your home, damaging your furniture, fading your interior paint, and delivering radiation to yourself. The simple film is a preventative measure that saves you money in terms of protecting your property behind the glass. Ideally this would best be used on glass with little to no window treatments already in place, or when you�re just going for that �wide open� look to your room.

Smart Glass

Also knows as �switchable glass� this type of window treatment is actually activated by light, heat, or voltage and changes from transparent to translucent to block out the sun�s rays. Going from clear to opaque means that your home saves on heating bills whenever the sun passes through the windows. Some designs of intelligent glass are also manually controlled when you want some privacy.  

Article written by Sean Mahan, also a writer for interias, a company that connects homeowners to reliable, affordable and professional contractors for their home improvement projects. Check more on Twitter.

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