Window coverings can lower energy loss through windows and help improve home comfort. Windows are responsible for around 30% of a home’s heating costs. In the cooling season, 76% sunlight from standard double pane windows is converted to heat.
Energy savings can be achieved with most window treatment types, however, this will depend on the attachment, the season, and how it is used. Storm windows with Lowe coatings work well to increase thermal performance and reduce solar heat loss.
Operable Window coverings
Operable window cover options allow you to decide whether to open your curtains or keep them closed. This allows you to take advantage of the heat from the sun in winter and decrease heat gain in summer. Some shutters are available as Cordless cellular window shades, blinds (or draperies), or curtains.
Operation window coverings
While not all window coverings have the ability to be operated, one study revealed that 75% residential window coverings will remain in their same position every single day. If this describes you, it is important to be mindful of which window coverings you open in your morning.
If it’s sunny and wintery, open your curtains or blinds early in the morning. Let the sun heat your home throughout daylight. You might want to keep your windows closed in the summer because heat gain can be reduced. If you need natural light, keep those coverings open. Learn about the benefits and disadvantages of automated window coverings.
Insulated cellular shade are made from pleated material that can be folded up accordion style. It is usually located at the top of a window but it could also be at the bottom. Insulated shades can be made from one or more honeycomb layers. Some shades can either be adjusted from top or bottom.
Insulated, cellular shades are usually considered to be the most energy-efficient window coverings. The honeycomb cross section’s air pockets act like insulation and increase the R-value. They also reduce heat conduction through the windows.
Insulated Cellular Shades can be a great option if energy savings are your goal.
Solar Cordless cellular window shades installed tight can reduce heat loss by up 40%, which is about 20% of heating energy savings. Cellular shades can reduce unwanted sunlight heat through windows by up to 80%.
Cellular shades operating on side tracks are most effective at increasing R-value of windows. Shades that open from both the top (and bottom) allow you to best control the amount of daylight entering your home. Some cellular shades are capable of being automated. The blinds can open and close at a preset time. To optimize heating and cooling load, the schedule can also be adjusted to maximize natural light and home comfort.
Window quilts include a sheet quilted material which can be opened or closed by rolling. They can be attached to the trim with Velcro, snaps, or tracks. Window quilts provide R-value enhancements similar to cellular shading due to their snug fit. Additionally, they tend to be less expensive.
Roman Shades or Roller Shades
Roller shades are typically inexpensive shades that can easily be raised or decreased using a roller bar at the top. Roman shades, which are made from fabric and arranged in a series if raised or lowered, are window shades that have a series stacked folds.
They fit in the window frames or outside. Although heavier fabrics are more efficient at blocking sunlight, roman Cordless cellular window shades and roller shades provide less insulation.
Vertical and horizontal slat-type blinds work better to reduce summer heat loss than heat gain. Like shades, you can adjust slats for glare, light, heat gain and other factors.
Highly reflective blinds are great for reducing heat gain. Horizontal-slat-type blinds can also block direct sunlight and reflect it onto a light-colored ceiling. A light-colored ceiling diffuses the light without any heat or glare.
Curtains and Drapes
Curtains are fabric interior attachments. They can be sized to fit the windows, while drapes can reach all the ground. There are many draperies on the market, so it can be difficult to determine their energy performance.
Draperies that are too close to windows should be hung so they can fall onto the windowsill or floor. This will help reduce heat exchange and convection. Place a cornice above the drapery to increase its effectiveness. You can seal the drapery along both sides and then cover it with tape. Velcro or magnet tape can be used for attaching drapes to the walls at the sides, bottom and top.
Two draperies placed together will create more air space than one. The best thing about a room-side window drapery is that it will maintain the exact same temperature as the interior space. This can increase comfort.
Window films can protect you from ultraviolet rays and solar heat gain. They are best used during long cooling season because they also block sunlight’s heat from winter. They are beneficial for homeowners who want to keep views clear of other window treatments but have concerns about glare and solar heat loss.
They can also be used in windows that are difficult to fit other window treatments. You have the option to choose tints or UV blockers as well as thicker films for security. Low-e films are becoming an energy-saving choice.
Window films were the very first window attachments to be rated in the National Fenestration Rating Council’s (NFRC) rating system. The NFRC also created window ratings and labels for consumers. This is how the NFRC Window Film Energy Performance Label looks.
A) Rated NFRC.
B) Manufacturer name and product name.
C) Details regarding NFRC rating procedure.
D) The Reference Product column describes which type and how well the glazing works with the film.
E) Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC). F) Visible Transmittance (VT).
National Fenestration Rating Council NFRC
It includes the sun heat gain coefficient (SHGC), visible transmittance and UV of the window film. Both numbers are between. The film’s ability block heat gain is more effective if its SHGC is lower than the SHGC. The potential for daylighting is greater if the VT is higher. Learn more on energy performance ratings.
Silver mirror-like films are generally more effective then transparent, colored films. These films can have greater impact on east- and west-facing Windows due to their potential heat gain. The films will not be beneficial for windows facing north, but south-facing Windows may get some of the benefits. However, they could also reduce heat from the winter sunlight.
Exterior shutters and Cordless cellular window shades can be made out of a variety material, such as fabric or vinyl. They are most effective at reducing the solar heat gain. The less protection you get from the sun, the larger the openings. They are usually operated manually, but you can have some opened or closed by turning a knob inside the house.
Roller shutters are often mounted above a window. Side channels help guide them as they lower and raise. When these blinds are fully lowered, the slats of the blinds meet, providing shade, privacy, security, protection from rain, and storm protection. Partially raised blinds allow daylight and air to pass through windows.
Most exterior shutter systems come with a mechanical crank, rod, and motor for operation indoors. This can be a good way to encourage daily use of your shutters.
An awning can be described as a roof-like shelter placed on a home’s outside that shade windows from the sun. Awnings also provide shade for outdoor living spaces. An awning’s design can be fixed or retractable. Awnings can help reduce solar heat gain. An awning can shade just one window. Or, you can have an awning made to shade the entire front of your house.
In the past most awnings used metal or canvas. These awnings needed to be recovered every five to 7 years. Today, awnings made from synthetic fabrics like acrylic or polyvinyl Laminates are water-repellent. They can also resist mildew fading and are treated to resist mildew. No matter the fabric choice, choose one that is opaque yet tightly woven. An awning made of light colors will reflect more sun.
To keep hot air from building up around the window, awnings require ventilation. Ventilation is possible through grommets, eyelets or other openings in the sides and tops of awnings. To vent hot vapor, an awning can open to the sides and top.
While awnings can reduce energy use during the cool season, they can also increase heating power. It is possible to adjust your usage depending on the season. You can keep awnings open or closed in the summer, and take them out or open in the winter. Fixed awnings might be possible to allow lower-angle winter sunlight into windows.
Roll up retractable or adjustable umbrellas in winter to let the sun heat the house. You can roll up your awnings with modern hardware, like lateral arm. A few awnings can also have motors for ease of use.
Exterior Solar Window Covers
Solar screens can reduce solar heat gains, UV damage, glare, and other ill effects. They can either be fixed or installed as roller Cordless cellular window shades on the exterior. The screens allow light transmission through windows and provide a view from the outside. They look the same as regular insect screens, but have more efficiency benefits. Higher openness will reduce solar heat gain and glare, while increasing visibility and light transmittance.