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Window treatments to stay warm, stay cool and save money

Heating and cooling account for almost half the energy consumption of a typical US household. In winter, around 30 percent of a house’s thermal energy is lost through windows. With energy-efficient window treatments, you can reduce energy consumption by up to 20 percent.

Many are attractive and add to the aesthetics of an interior. When used correctly, they also improve comfort. Blinds, thermal curtains, blinds and insulated window ceilings are some options that reduce solar gain and slow heat loss through windows. Here are some energy saving window treatment options that can save you money and make you feel good.

Shadows and blinds

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Parasols block up to 99 percent of ultraviolet light and glare. They also absorb or reflect up to 90 percent of the heat, which reduces heat loss in winter. Bright parasols are more effective in delaying heat loss. Dark shades are better at blocking UV rays. There are different types of parasols, including models for outdoor installation. The fabric densities are between 3 and 10 percent, which affects the view through the screen and the thermal output.

Honeycomb colors, also known as cell colors, have the highest R values ​​of any type of window treatment. According to the US Department of EnergyThey reduce heat loss by up to 40 percent, which leads to energy savings of around 20 percent.

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Cellular shades are made up of small cells that resemble the honeycomb in a beehive. Each cell is an air pocket that traps air between the window and the living space. They are available in different opacities, from bare to room darkening, so you can choose the light filter level that is suitable for every room. The pleated construction gives windows a clear appearance. Various pleat sizes are available.

If you want a cheaper window treatment, you should consider ready-made step screens. When they are tight against the window frame, they can achieve R values ​​that are similar to honeycomb colors. They block 99 percent of UV rays in the summer months and prevent up to 73 percent of heat loss in the winter months.

Quilted material can be applied to the back of Roman shades and provides UV and control, insulation, privacy and sound absorption material. The side facing the room can be made of an attractive fabric to complement the room decor. Quilted and Roman tones can be rolled up to modulate light and privacy.


Curtains are a classic window treatment that modulates light, adds to the decorative scheme of a room and offers thermal values. Curtains offer different levels of energy efficiency depending on the type of material used, type of fabric and color. In cold weather, standard curtains can reduce heat loss by around 10 percent. In summer, curtains with white plastic backing can reduce solar gain by up to 33 percent. By hanging curtains near the window and attaching them to the frame, heat loss can be reduced by up to 25 percent. In addition, double-hanging curtains create an insulated air space at the window, which helps to maintain the internal temperature.

In order to achieve even better energy efficiency, standard curtains can be provided with thermal linings. Thermal linings increase the R-value of the window. Valances and cornices increase the thermal value by isolating the top of the window.

Pre-made heat blankets are usually made up of several layers, including a vapor barrier, a decorative layer that faces into the room, a foam layer that delays heat exchange, and a reflective layer that reflects heat back into the living space in winter and prevents sun exposure during the winter Summer. To get the best Energy-saving advantages through thermal curtainsKeep them closed during the heat of the day in summer and night in winter. Modulate the light in winter to capture the warmth of the sun.

Exterior treatments

The best way to reduce solar gain in summer is to keep it from reaching the building envelope and windows. Trees and shading windows and roofs keep the interiors cool. The air temperature around the vegetation can be reduced by up to 9 degrees Celsius Energy efficient landscaping. Combine landscaping with other exterior treatments such as awnings and shutters for greater effectiveness. Awnings on west-facing windows can reduce solar gain by 77 percent.

Combine window treatments

You can combine window treatments for interest, aesthetics and energy saving values. Install cellular screens next to the window. Hang decorative curtains on the inside of the room. Use mechanized controls to operate the blinds and curtains throughout the day.

A little planning and imagination can help you create unique and impressive window treatments for any room in your home. These window decorations improve the appearance of the interior, emphasize comfort, save energy and save money.