Dare I say it? We are marching forward into Winter 2009 and the icy temperatures
that come along with the season. Uggh!! Along with that, energy costs have continued to be one of the heavyweights of every household budget living through the current economy! It is time to start looking closer at how the proper type of window treatments can help reduce your utility expenses. This is a key point and I am going to shout it from the rooftops. Window treatments can have both beauty and brains (so to speak). Energy efficiency at your windows is a step in the “green” direction also.
Engineers speak in terms of R-value in reference to the energy efficiency of any given product. It also applies to window treatments. R-value is defined as a product’s resistance to transferring heat between two environments of different temperatures. Higher R-value numbers are better at keeping out cold.
While energy efficient windows that do not allow any air leaks are better than older windows, there is still too much energy being transferred between the outdoors and your rooms.
Here is what you need to remember to help beef up your window treatment energy efficiency-layers. The more layers you have at the window, the better. Each layer adds its own R-value to the overall total, as do the air pockets created between them. That is a huge boost! For example, wood blinds could be the first layer, draperies the second and a valance the fourth. The wood of the blinds is a natural insulator and your first line of defense. There are good air pockets between the blinds and draperies that also help cut down on energy transfer. There are thermal drapery linings fabricated with the latest technology. Your valance should have a dust cap cover on it to prevent air leakage above the window and to help keep dust off your draperies and blinds. Hey, there is another plus, keeping your draperies cleaner longer! Each layer that you have added to your windows, helps slow down the transfer of energy.
Now, for all of you who just love the view out of your window and do not like to have it obstructed at all by window treatments, you can get in on this too. I always recommend cellular honeycomb shades for my clients who like open, airy looks at their windows. In the raised position, they are so compact you can barely see them. In the lowered position, their cells are more like “layers” or air pockets on the window with a significantly higher R-value compared to other treatments. This is a great solution for all those “open window view” aficionados among us. What’s not to like? There are a variety of colors and textures to suit every décor.
Armed with all this information, you can go out and get energy efficient, beautiful window treatments and keep your budget happy with the savings that are sure to follow!