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How Can I Save on Heating Costs with My Window Treatments?

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Windows & Home HeatingThe autumn chill is already here, which has many homeowners thinking about energy costs leading into the coldest months of the year.  Energy-efficient window treatments can help you to save money and keep your home comfortable, and they can work seamlessly with other interior design choices.

Whether or not a particular window treatment is considered insulating is dependent upon factors including its weave and color.  Closed or tight weave fabrics are more insulating, with heavy fabrics such as cotton and velvet being more effective than sheer or gauzy options.  When selecting a color, keep in mind that white reflects heat, while darker fabrics absorb it, keeping rooms hotter.  White roman shades in an open weave material will be much less insulating than a navy velvet drapery system.

If you are concerned about an aesthetic that will become too dark or heavy, layering linings is a good option.  Draperies made of three layers provide good insulation while allowing light to pass through to your room.  The main fabric that you have selected should face into the room so that you can take advantage of your design choice.  An interlining will fall between that fabric and the lining that faces the window to create a window treatment that insulates against heat loss.

According to the U. S. Department of energy, conventional draperies can reduce heat loss up to 10% in a room that is already warm.  In the evening, window treatments should be closed, and the same is true for windows that don’t receive sunlight.  Keeping these closed during the day can help prevent heat loss from your home.

Also consider the placement of residential shades such as skylight, sunroom, and roman styles.  When these are positioned close to the window, heat exchange is reduced, and it is possible to create a sealed air space if they are close enough to the glass and the wall.  Reversible shades in two colors can be flipped with the seasons, allowing you to always keep the lighter, more reflective surface facing the warmer surface.

Beyond window coverings for the interior of your home, it is a good idea to make sure that your windows themselves are properly sealed.  Even the best insulating shade or drapery cannot stop air leaks on their own, although they can definitely provide relief from drafty windows and reduce heat loss.  Weatherstripping and caulking are the best ways to cope with actual gaps and cracks that may have formed around your window frames over time.

One of the best reasons to invest in energy-efficient window treatments is their year-round usefulness.  If you purchase insulating blinds, shades, and drapery systems, they will help to protect your rooms from excessive heat during the late spring and summer.  Your NYC residential shade and window treatment specialist can help you to determine the best option for your home based on your energy concerns, the direction your windows face, and the function of each room.

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