As most homeowners know, keeping one’s space bright and airy and with the perfect temperature throughout the day can often come with a rather hefty price tag. Maybe one minute it is boiling hot and the next freezing cold. Maybe your roommate is always complaining about how much the household manages to spend on heating and cooling. Whatever the reason, it seems pointless to waste energy and money on something that can be made a lot more efficient.
As much as half of the energy used in homes goes toward heating and cooling and people have no idea how easy it is to make their homes run on less energy.
Read on if you are looking for ways to save energy in your home through window solutions.
1. Upgrade Your Shades & Blinds
Installing window shades is the simplest and most effective way to save energy in your home through window solutions, and cellular shades are the most efficient of them all. These particular types of shades use a series of cell pockets that trap air around your windows, ensuring your rooms are cool in the summer and cozy in the winter. The good news is that upgrading your shades and blinds can be both for beauty and function.
Just as with shades, blinds are another simple and effective way to save energy. Although window blinds are more effective at reducing summer heat gain than winter heat loss — this is because of the numerous openings in blinds.
The reason shades and blinds are so important is because when your just-heated or recently-cooled air dissipates, you lose energy and cash. A significant percentage of this dissipation (about 20 percent) happens through your windows, which makes having the right blinds or shades a necessity. You want blinds and shades that increase protection against heat loss during the winter and minimize the effects of the sun during the summer. According to the United States Department of Energy (DOE), solar heat gain can be reduced by as much as 33 percent with just a set of medium-colored drapes backed with white plastic.
2. Automate Your Window Treatments
In recent years, technology companies have risen to the occasion to design and develop smart home products that help to save energy in your home. By choosing an automated window solution, you can ensure that your windows are operating as efficiently as possible.
Automated Solutions include; blinds that shut when it is hot, shades that are voice-controlled, shades that sync with your thermostat, and devices with solar recharging.
While these solutions help to save energy with minimal effort from you, they also are one of the pricier options — especially for homes with 20 or more windows!
3. Insulate Your Windows
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) states that as much as one-third of the average home's heat loss occurs through windows and doors, so it is vital that you ensure your windows and doors are properly weather-stripped.
Luckily, there are a variety of different options for insulating your windows. The cheapest way is to caulk around them, but another solution is to weatherstrip them with a unique lining that is inserted between the window and the frame. Existing windows need to be repaired or replaced if they show signs of rotted or damaged wood, cracked glass, missing putty, poorly fitting sashes, or locks that don't work. If you are looking to replace windows, consider installing storm windows or triple glazed windows.
When you are heating and cooling your home, you want to make sure that windows are kept locked. During sunny winter days, open your window coverings to catch free solar heat, but remember (if you don’t have automated window treatments) to close them at night to keep that heat in. During summer days, close your window coverings to keep the heat out. If you decide to invest in new windows and doors, make sure to pay attention to the energy efficiency ratings.
Carmen Vellila is an experienced Brand Manager currently overseeing the strategic development of multiple brands as part of the Epwin Group. She is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (ACIM), specializing in Corporate Communication and Digital Marketing.
She works with directors and managers at companies across Europe, utilizing her ability to speak four languages, and works extensively with professionals across a range of industries to drive and deliver leading-edge strategies