When choosing how to adorn the windows in your home, you may think the only differences between the various options are aesthetic differences. However, different window coverings make a big difference in your home's energy efficiency, as well. Since it's good to save energy however you can, both to save money and help protect the environment, careful consideration should be given to the energy-efficiency of the window coverings you choose. To help you decide, here are a few ways that the choice of window decor affects your home energy use.
There are a wide variety of curtains available, some of which do very little to affect your home's energy use one way or the other. However, certain types of curtains are specifically made to help make your home more energy-efficient. These are sometimes called "thermal curtains" or "black-out curtains." Essentially, these curtains are made from heavier material that makes them nearly impervious to light. Between their light-blocking capabilities that help control sunlight and their heavier fabric that helps keep hot and cold air by the window instead of releasing it into the room, these types of curtains are quite effective at helping you use less energy in your home.
Unlike most types of window coverings, roller shutters are mounted on the exterior of your windows instead of the interior. As such, roller shutters provide an especially effective method of preventing outside air from entering your home. By creating a seal around the window opening, roller shutters essentially act as a third layer of glass, keeping your home nice and comfortable. An added bonus is that roller shutters provide a solid barrier against potential intruders, thus protecting your home from crime in addition to protecting you from discomfort.
Though the nature of blinds, with their multiple slats, means that blinds aren't as effective at temperature control as other window coverings, they can still create a meaningful thermal barrier that helps to maintain the temperature in your home when they are closed. For maximum effectiveness, of course, it's important to shut the slats tightly to minimize the gaps between the slats and help trap the conditioned air inside your home.
Window tinting is an especially intriguing window treatment option, as you can still add other layers of window decor on top of this option to create an especially efficient window. The main advantage of window tinting is that it cuts down on the amount of sunlight that can enter a specific room, meaning the sun's rays can't heat up the interior surfaces as quickly, thus keeping the room cooler. If you have windows that get direct sun at any point throughout the day, this can result in significant energy savings over the course of a summer.
Though various types of window coverings can help lower your home's energy use, there's no substitute for new windows when it comes to keeping your home comfortable. Therefore, if you can combine new windows with one or more of these other solutions, you'll end up with an especially efficient system that will make a noticeable difference in your energy bills.