Window Shades

Choose energy efficient window shades

While installing energy efficient glass is a good start, adding window treatments can help you increase your cost savings even more. Window shades, blinds, screens and curtains can all help you maintain an ideal indoor temperature without sending your energy bills soaring.

Regular window blinds can help you cut down on your home heating and cooling costs, but to optimize your savings, it's recommended that you choose specially designed energy efficient window shades or energy-saver blinds with unique features that deliver superior performance.

How Energy-Saver Blinds and Shades Work

During the summer, window blinds and window shades can have a dramatic cooling effect that can really help your energy conservation efforts. If your windows are uncovered, they will let about 20 times more heat into your home than your walls will. By covering your windows, you eliminate this heat source and will spend a lot less money running your air conditioner.

To ensure your energy-saver blinds will have the effect you want, you need to consider a rating known as the shading coefficient. While the actual factors that go into determining the shading coefficient are complex, the concept itself is simple: the lower the number, the more effective the blinds are at eliminating solar heat. As a general rule of thumb, you'll find that wood blinds and honeycomb-style window shades are much better at blocking out the heating effects of the sun than aluminum, plastic or roller shades. Shades that are white or light in color on the side that faces the sunlight are also better at reflecting light away from your windows.

Roman window shades and blackout shades are other options you can consider. These treatments are made of fabric and can be unrolled to cover the surface of the window. Roman window shades tend to be lighter and often have prints or patterns on the fabric; blackout shades are thicker and uniform in their dark coloring.

An added benefit of window blinds and window shades is that they will greatly reduce the harm done to your furniture by overexposure to sunlight. Your carpets and upholstery will not fade nearly as quickly, which can save you a lot of money in maintenance, repair and replacement costs.

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