When choosing window treatments, energy efficient doesn’t mean ugly. Learn how you can save as much as several hundreds dollars a year on energy bills, while upgrading to beautiful shades, draperies or shutters.
How does a couple of hundred dollars a year sound?
That’s how much DTV Installations clients in Westchester County and throughout the tri-state area are saving each year, by installing energy-efficient window treatments like high R-rated shades, draperies and shutters.
Naturally, when you’re choosing modern window treatments you want them to look great. And we’ve found that many people are scared at the very thought of energy-efficient window coverings, because they’re visualizing heavy, old-fashioned draperies or thick, ugly wooden shutters.
That’s not at all what today’s energy-efficient window treatments look like. We have a huge range of alternatives which will enhance any style of décor, while reducing winter heat loss and summer heat gain by as much as 25-33%. With current energy prices, that translates to savings which can easily add up to $150-200 per year in a medium-sized home with 15 windows.
Here are just a few suggestions from our DTV Installations owner, John Lysy.
The best energy-efficient drapery choices for homes in our area will have both a blackout lining to keep out heat and sun during summer, and thermal interlining made of heavy material to prevent cold from reaching your living space in the winter. This type of drape will typically have an R-value between 3 and 5, when closed. (If you’re reading this in a part of the country that’s much warmer than New York and New Jersey, you probably wouldn’t need the interlining.)
For best performance the draperies should run from floor to ceiling, and should make full contact with walls in order to seal off windows. These aren’t those hideous grey drapes you may remember from elementary schoolrooms, either; they come in a wide assortment of beautiful fabrics, patterns and colors.
An amazingly-efficient way to beautify a room is through the use of automated honeycomb (cellural) shades. These pleated blinds work so well because they trap air inside their honeycomb cells; since air is not a good heat conductor, it forms an outstanding insulating layer inside the shades and protects the room from outdoor extremes in temperature. Honeycomb blinds can have R-5 values, occasionally even higher. When you think of honeycombs shades, browns or greys may come to mind, but they’re actually available in every designer color and in beautiful patterns.
There is one other issue to consider; many of our DTV Installations clients opt for translucent shades so sunlight can bathe their rooms during the day. When the inside lights are on at night, though, those shades can create a free show for the entire neighborhood. It’s best to also have drapes for nighttime use, when installing translucent honeycomb blinds.
If they fit the look of your room, motorized plantation shutters are an energy-efficient window treatment well worth considering, with R-values around 3. Wood shutters are a slightly better choice than vinyl because wood is more effective at blocking the transfer of outside air temperatures, but having either type of plantation shutters firmly installed into the frames of your windows will create a strong, insulated barrier.
One Other Consideration: The Windows Themselves
Replacing old windows with newer low-E glass is a tremendous way to save money on your heating and air conditioning bills. Adding plastic window film, however, is a less-expensive, energy-efficient substitute.
The film is most effective in hot regions because it reduces the effects of solar heat by up to 70%, and will almost completely prevent ultraviolet rays from entering a home. But it is also quite good at preventing heat loss during cold weather, so you may want to look at it for your New York-area home – to make the most of your new, energy-efficient window treatments from DTV Installations.