By Grace McNamara
Have you ever walked into a room in your home, discovered it was a bit warm, and drawn the blinds or shades or draperies to control that heat? Seems like a simple movement, but with energy prices and concerns about creating pollutants, this simple act is preferable to turning down the air conditioner to kick it on. This simple action could be an important clue for how you as a homeowner can gain a greater degree of control over your home s energy costs, your comfort and increase the value of your home at the same time!
Window Coverings or no Window Coverings
Did you know that if you have a window that has no window covering on it at all, and you live in California, Texas, Florida, or any other consistently warm state, you are sending money right out the window every day? When lowered or closed, window coverings like shades, blinds, shutters, window film and others keep the heat out and allow your home to retain the cool air produced by your hard-working air conditioner. Your home cooling equipment doesn t have to work so hard, and that SAVES YOU MONEY. Keeping your home s internal temperature constant cuts energy usage, and keeps you much more comfortable throughout the day.
Did you know that if you have a window that has no window covering on it at all, and you live in Minnesota, Illinois, Montana, or any other consistently cold state, you are also letting money leak from your windows as well. Why? Stand next to a window in the middle of the winter. Even the most energy efficient windows leak some cold into the room. Bare, cold windows can act like a heat sinc, pulling heat from the room toward those cold windows. What a waste of expensive energy.
But you sa, I don t like to have things at my windows ... I have a great view!
No problem. Your view can stay fantastic, and you can continue to enjoy it by using products that disappear from site. For example, do you know about aftermarket window films? The array of window films out there today is astonishing, and you can make choices among them that won t compromise your view, but will improve your comfort level and energy usage enormously.
This clear film is quite transparent and yet it pushes back a lot of heat all day long, keeping your home much cooler than if it weren t there at all. This is the bare minimum that any east-, south- or west-facing window should have. By adding a quality window film to all the windows of a home that is 3000 square feet, you could save as much as 10 percent a year on cooling costs, and certainly be part of the growing populace that contributes to reducing energy pollutants. Window coverings are GREEN!
Draperies: Not just for Scarlet O Hara
According to the US Department of Energy s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy website, most conventional draperies can reduce heat loss from a warm room up to 10 percent when drawn during cold weather. Their site states, To reduce heat exchange or convection, draperies should be hung as close to windows as possible. Also let them fall onto a windowsill or floor. For maximum effectiveness, you should install a cornice at the top of a drapery or place the drapery against the ceiling. Then seal the drapery at both sides and overlap it in the center. You can use Velcro or magnetic tape to attach drapes to the wall at the sides and bottom. If you do these things, you may reduce heat loss up to 25 percent.