Are you one of the many homeowners looking for ways to save money on your utilities and appliance uses during the Summer, Winter, and year round?
Did you know that by controlling the amount of sunlight, specifically infra-red or invisible radiation entering your house or patio, you can cut down your cooling and heating bills, while regulating the comfort and temperature at your home? What’s more, creating energy-efficiency throughout the interior and exterior of your home can also enhance its appearance. 🙂
One way to do this is to invest in window coverings and window treatments. — Using these environmentally-friendly methods helps control the amount of light and hence infrared radiation coming in, while also creating insulating or cooling benefits/effects in your home.
Windows have a real impact on heating and cooling costs in many homes and in many climates. Treatments over windows can also account for a large percentage of a homeowners heating bill in the winter, too, as cold air has the ability to find its way into our home through leaky windows, cracks in the windows linings and more. What’s worse, the warm air can escape through the same cracks, making your heating system work in an over-drive mode, and thus costing you more money in energy expenses. During the summer, your air conditioner must work harder to cool hot air from sunny windows. It’s best to reduce energy costs by installing energy-efficient windows, doors or skylights.
Knowing what to look for in choosing the correct window treatments can save you money, while also helping to conserve energy and adding style to your home. Insulating your home from both extreme heat and wintry cold can have a measurable impact on your electricity bills and instantly improve your home’s energy efficiency.
In some cases, controlled sunlight streaming into your home for hours on end can be a marvelous thing in some environments. For instance, when it’s 10 degrees below zero in Minneapolis in January, letting in an abundant stream of light can have a great psychological effect as well as a great heat-inducing effect on the house. Mid-day sunlight can build up warmth inside a home, and let you reduce the use of your home heating system during the peak energy hours. However, that same situation in the middle of Summer in Phoenix, Arizona might not work so well. You see, there’s too much light and warmth throughout the Arizona summer months in this desert city, and many inhabitants do what the animals do. They cover up the light coming into their homes, just as the animals crawl underground and under rocks to prevent themselves from feeling the heat.
Did you know? Some of the most popular and environmentally-sound window coverings in the hot summer months come in the form of window treatments used on houses in the southwest desert. A variety of alternatives are available to homeowners – wood blinds, woven wood shades and vertical covering systems, to roman and solar shades and roman shades all work well in turning a hot house into an environmentally friendly, solar home.
Blinds and shades are effective for a variety of reasons. Dummies.com points to a few of these, citing how blinds absorb sunlight and foster good insulation. If you’re using a solar screen, most of the sunlight will get filtered before it even gets to the window. Even though the screen outside gets hot, it acts as an insulation barrier and traps the heat, away from your interior window. This is good for very hot summer temperatures. Although, sunlight would be welcome in the winter months.
Window Treatments with UV Protection
Some of the new window treatments incorporate a high-tech layer of protection from UV rays, according to the Wall Street Journal. This is important as it acts as a deterrent against the sun’s rays, which the Journal writes “can penetrate regular window glass and damage skin, discolor fabrics and overheat rooms.”
The new window films are beneficial in cutting down glare and blocking overly warm UV rays. Additionally, so-called ‘solar shades’ act as another layer of UV protection, filtering out UV rays and heat, even on traditional window setups. Some have likened it to putting a pair of sunglasses on a window. These solar shades, already used in commercial buildings and industrial-looking condos, are starting to be used more in mainstream homes and apartment rentals.
Making your home more energy efficient and focused on saving energy is the first step to green, sustainable living. Not only that, but finding ways to eliminate wasteful energy will make your home more healthy, comfortable and sustainable. You’ll also find you’re saving money as well.
For basic recommendations, strategies and tips for energy efficiency improvements and products for your home, try the US Environmental Protection Agency’s website, which offers up helpful advice for reducing home energy consumption. The EPA for years now has developed and run the well-known Energy Star program, which rewards for efficiencies in building new homes. By receiving the Energy Star, a builder or homeowner has shown that it’s using superior energy performance. Go to http://www.energystar.gov to learn more about the program.