Energy Efficient Window Treatments

By Maya Savanovich

Choosing energy efficient window treatments wisely can help keep energy costs down.

With everyone's energy bill going up these days, people are looking at different ways to keep heat and cold from escaping their homes. One of the chief culprits of heat and cold loss has been windows. A great way to minimize temperature loss is to utilize window treatments. By carefully choosing the proper shades, curtains, draperies or films, energy usage can be greatly reduced.
Keep in mind that window treatments typically won't do anything to stop drafts from leaky window assemblies. This type of energy loss can only be corrected by caulking or replacement of a faulty window.

Here is a look at some of the energy saving window treatments available and some possible energy savings:


Due to their full window coverage, drapes can keep the cold winter air out, and keep cooled air in during the summer. The energy saving properties of a particular drapery will depend on such factors as color, and the fabric the drapes are constructed with. Naturally, a thinner and more porous material will not have the energy saving properties as a thicker and denser fabric. A drapery with a light neutral color will have the best energy saving percentage as well. Properly hung draperies may lower heat loss about twenty five percent.


Shades are a simple and inexpensive way to minimize energy loss. Lowering shades during sunny days in the summer keep excessive heat out, and conversely, having shades open on sunny winter days allows the heat from the sun to help warm a room. Dual purpose shades are available that are light on one side and dark on the other. By flipping this type of shade around, heat can be either directed away from the window, or drawn towards it. In addition, both roller and roman shades can be found that are insulated to aid in keeping the temperature in a room constant.

Shutters and Blinds

Timber blinds and shutters are a great way to enhance the look of a room. The thousands of colors and designs available make these window treatments a "best of both worlds" type of scenario. There is a bit of work to the installation; typically there needs to be brackets installed on the window trim.

Reflective Films

Although used primarily in commercial buildings, films applied to windows can be a good way to reflect the suns hot rays away from a room. However, these films will reflect the sun during the winter; any heat gain realized will be lost with this application. Available in dark colors and silver, reflective films can either keep heat and cold in or out. Bear in mind that reflective films are typically a permanent window treatment.

Keep in mind that all these window treatments can be used together to maximize their energy efficiency properties. Shades or blinds can be combined with drapes to aid in maintaining room temperature, and at the same time dress a room up with style. Keeping cool air in during the summer and cold air out during the winter is easily accomplished with energy efficient window treatments.

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