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Energy efficient window treatments can help with energy loss. Knowing the R-Value of the shade or blind is important. R value is assigned to any building materials and is used to tell the amount of heat the window covering resists. The higher the number, the better job the window treatment does in insulating your windows. Typical R-value ranges from 0.9 to 3.0.

Windows Are Energy Holeswindowillustration

Windows were once called “wind holes.” Fortunately, today’s modern windows do a good job of preventing unwanted air flow. However, closed windows still offer very little resistance to the flow of energy. Windows are, in fact, “energy holes.” Compared to the well-insulated walls and roofs of today’s homes, standard double-pane windows allow up to 10 to 15 times more heat energy to flow through them. So, even though windows make up only about 10% of a home’s insulated shell, up to half a home’s heating and cooling energy can be lost through them.

How Window Coverings Helpthermal house-1 1

Window coverings are like valves — but unlike most valves that control the flow of liquid or gas, window coverings control the flow of energy. Open the valve and more energy comes in (or goes out) through the window. Close the valve and more energy stays out (or stays in).

How much heat loss can you afford? Photo on left indicates energy loss in Red. The color difference between the walls and windows shows the contrast in resistance to heat flow. By installing energy efficient window treatments, heating and cooling bills can be reduced as much as 40%.

Saving Tip

sunOpen and close your window treatments to take advantage of natural warmth (Solar Heat Gain). The basic rule is that when outside temperatures are colder, open window treatments during the day and close them at night. The reverse applies to hot climates where the larger concern is keeping cool air inside--close window treatments during the day and open them at night where privacy is not a concern. This will also protect fabrics and furnishings from fading in strong sunlight.

South Windows:
Open your window treatments for the best hours of sunshine. These windows gain more heat during the daylight hours.

East and West Windows:
Open the window treatments for the three best hours of sunshine. Solar heat is gained through east windows during morning hours and west windows in late afternoon.

North Windows:
Open window treatments for sun in the morning or evening. For the most part, north facing windows receive no direct sunlight and lose more heat than they gain.

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