Window treatments come in many different designs, textures, and colors, which make them excellent for adding style to your home or office. In addition to decoration, they also provide a number of functional benefits, including privacy, light control, and temperature control. Temperature control is a high priority for many homeowners because of how much energy can be wasted through windows.
According to Energy.gov, 76% of the sunlight that enters through double-pane windows becomes heat. In the cold months, approximately 30% of your home’s heat is lost through your windows. However, window treatments with effective temperature control can prevent this unwanted heat transfer, leading to significant energy savings.
Today, there are several types of window treatments designed for energy efficiency. Some coverings provide more insulation than others, but when choosing a product, you should also consider your style preferences and other functional benefits.
In this post, we will discuss four types of energy-efficient window treatments, how they work, and where to buy them.
4 Types of Energy-Efficient Window Treatments
1. Cellular Shades Window Treatments
Cellular shades are known for their honeycomb-like shape that traps air in little cells or pockets. This clever design makes them the most energy-efficient type of shade. During the hottest part of the year, Energy.gov reports that cellular shades can decrease solar heat gain by up to 60%. In the same way, their powerful insulation can prevent heat from escaping during the winter months.
These window coverings can be made with single, double, or triple cell layers, whereas more cells provide more effective insulation. They also come in a multitude of colors, and you can choose the degree of light filtration for each shade. For example, in a family room or sunroom, you may choose sheer shades to let in maximum light. On the other hand, you may choose a higher opacity shade for your bedrooms, such as room darkening or blackout. Cellular shades also come with convenient customization options, such as cordless control and motorization.
2. Roman Shades Window Treatments
Next is Roman shades window treatments, which are fabric window coverings that fold into pleats as they are raised. These shades are known for their elegant, sculpted appearance, and they come in a plethora of colors and patterns. Roman shades can also be folded in different ways to achieve a specific design style. They are widely popular among interior designers for their functionality and visual appeal.
The heavier fabric used for Roman shades can provide decent insulation for your windows, but it is not the most effective option. For maximum energy efficiency, choose Roman shades with a thermal layer specifically designed to prevent unwanted heat transfer. This will allow you to use a lighter fabric for the outer layer while still increasing your energy savings.
3. Blinds – Window Treatments
Blinds are a very popular window treatments because of their affordability and versatile light control. They consist of individual slats held together by strings, which can be “opened” or “closed” by changing the angle of the slats. This allows you to control the amount of light that comes into your home and the angle at which it shines.
When choosing a material for your blinds, keep in mind that aluminum does a better job of blocking heat than wood and vinyl. However, wood and vinyl blinds are opaque, so they can block more light and provide better privacy than aluminum when they are completely closed.
4. Drapes – Window Treatments
Drapes are pieces of fabric that hang down over your windows from a rod or track. They are typically lined with heavy, opaque to semi-opaque fabric, but they can be pulled to the side when you want to let in more light.
Similarly to Roman shades, drapes have some insulating qualities from their fabric alone, but they are much more energy-efficient with a white-plastic or thermal backing. The color of the fabric also matters as medium tones will absorb the most light. According to Energy.gov, drapes that are medium-toned with a white-plastic backing can reduce solar heat gain by 33% in the summer and decrease heat loss by up to 10% in the winter.
Along with offering excellent energy savings, drapes are ornamental elements that can elevate your space. They come in all different colors and patterns, so they can easily complement any room design.
Want even more energy savings with your Window Treatments?
Once you have chosen energy-efficient window treatments, you can increase your energy savings even further. The key is knowing when to open and close the coverings.
For example, in the summertime, keep your windows completely covered during the hottest times of the day. This means lowering your shades and closing the blinds and drapes. In the cold months, let in as much sunshine as you can during the day, then close your window coverings when temperatures drop.
Another great option is to use motorized coverings that operate on a schedule. This way, you are getting the best use of your blinds and shades, but you do not have to worry about opening and closing them on a daily basis.