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How Window Treatments Can Deter Heat Gain and Maximize Energy Efficiency

Window treatments are more than just the finishing touches to a home’s decor. When they’re carefully chosen, they can also help reduce heat gain and keep cooling costs under control. Energy-efficient window treatments are available in styles to suit every taste and need:

  • Awnings – Both stationary and retractable awnings can cut solar heat gain through your windows by up to 77 percent, depending on the orientation. When rolled up, retractable awnings will let the winter sun in to warm your living space.
  • Blinds – You can reduce heat gain through your south-facing windows by about 45 percent by installing interior horizontal or vertical blinds with a highly-reflective finish. Because the slats are adjustable, you can control ventilation and light as well.
  • Drapes – When they’re hung close to a window and fall to the floor or windowsill, drapes effectively combat heat gain from direct sunlight. Their folds and pleats help dissipate the sun’s warmth and the interior-facing side stays at room temperature, so they keep a home more comfortable.
  • Reflective window film – Although colored versions are available, mirrored reflective films are more effective at blocking solar heat gain in both the summer and winter, especially on east or west-facing windows. One drawback of high-reflectivity film is that extra care is required when cleaning it.
  • Shades – When mounted close to a window’s glass and surrounding wall, the simple shade is a very effective energy saver. The most effective versions feature a highly-reflective white side and a heat-absorbent darker side. They should be reversed seasonally so the darkest side faces the heat. Other styles, such as quilted roller, cellular and some types of Roman shades, are designed to both insulate and provide an air barrier.
  • Shutters – While they’re available in both interior and exterior styles, properly-installed exterior shutters work best for insulating against heat gain. Some are built to offer security and storm protection too, and most can be operated from indoors via a motorized or mechanical control.

To learn more about the benefits of choosing energy-efficient window treatments for your Raleigh, Durham or Chapel Hill area home, please contact us at Air Experts.

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