You can choose window treatments or coverings not only for decoration but also for saving energy. Some carefully selected window treatments can reduce heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer. This allows you to make your home more energy efficient without purchasing and installing new windows while at the same time adding some style to your home.
When properly installed, window shades can be one of the simplest and most effective window treatments for saving energy.
Shades should be mounted as close to the glass as possible with the sides of the shade held close to the wall to establish a sealed air space. You should lower shades on sunlit windows in the summer. Shades on the south side of a house should be raised in the winter during the day, then lowered during the night.
Unlike shades, you can adjust the slats to control light and ventilation. For example, when completely closed and lowered on a sunny window, highly reflective blinds can reduce heat gain by around 45%. They can also be adjusted to block and reflect direct sunlight onto a light-colored ceiling. A light-colored ceiling will diffuse the light without much heat or glare.
Like window blinds, louvered shutters work best for summer shading. Movable or fixed louvers allow ventilation and natural daylight to enter a room while blocking some direct radiation. Solid shutters will decrease both heat loss and summer heat gain. These insulating shutters consist of wood panels, a vapor barrier, and sometimes a decorative covering. If you fit them tightly against a window frame, they’ll provide an insulating air space between the shutter and the window.