How to: Reduce Energy Costs with Window Dressings
Curtains, shutters, shades and blinds—did you know these window coverings could actually save you money? Believe it or not, both indoor and outdoor window coverings are great ways to reduce heating and cooling costs year-round.
Here are a few examples to help you save energy by using window coverings:
- Window awnings can reduce solar heat gain in the summer by up to 65% on south-facing windows and up to 77% on west-facing windows.
- Window blinds—vertical or horizontal slat-type—are more effective at reducing summer heat gain than winter heat loss.
- Draperies should be hung as close to the windows as possible and should fall to the floor or windowsill to reduce heat exchange or convection.
- Installing an insulating window panel or pop-in shutter is a fairly simple DIY project that doesn’t require any hardware. Panels are made so that the edges seal tightly against the window frame. Seals can be made from magnetic tape or Velcro.
- Mesh window screens can diffuse solar radiation, reducing heat gain in the summer. Effective on east- and west-facing windows, the screens are mounted in an exterior frame and cover the entire window.
Properly designed exterior shutters may provide the best possible window insulation system in addition to several other advantages:
- Weather protection
- Added security
- Doesn’t require interior space
- No thermal shock to windows if left closed.