When it comes to window treatments, we’ve got you covered. Last week, we discussed the benefits of awnings and interior blinds. Here are three additional window treatment options worth considering.
Exterior roller blinds are more common in warm climates than in Southeast Michigan. They are worth mentioning because they are the most efficient and effective in controlling the sun and offer energy savings on air-conditioning. Exterior roller blinds are typically made of wood, steel, aluminum or vinyl. Mounted above the exterior window, they can be raised or lowered using their side channels. When completely lowered, the blinds’ slats join to form a solid shade. Additional benefits include privacy, comfort, reduced glare on TV’s or computer screens and also a decrease in pollution resulting from energy savings.
Draperies offer much more than stellar décor. Fabric type, layers and color factors impact their ability to minimize heat loss and gain. For example, studies show that that medium-colored draperies made with white-plastic backings are capable of reducing heat gains by 33%. Unlike most blinds, draperies maintain coolness during summer months due to their pleats and folds which lose heat via convection. During cold winters, most conventional draperies help prevent heat loss by as much as 10%. If you opt for drapes, make sure they are hung as closely to the windows as possible and let them fall onto the floor or a windowsill. This will help reduce heat exchange or keep warm air in during the winter and hot air out during the winter.
The best aesthetic feature of draperies is that you can coordinate their fabric with other elements in your home such as furniture, area rugs, etc. If you are trying to assemble furniture, rugs and decorations from your previous home, choosing drapes can help you tie everything together for a cohesive look. Cornices are a popular feature on which the fabric can differ or be the same as the actual drapes. They are beneficial when installed at the top of drapery, juxtaposed against the ceiling, because this tight seal will help reduce heat loss up to 25%. If you are not a fan of cornices, consider hanging two draperies together to optimize heat exchange. The room-side drapery will maintain approximately the same temperature as the actual interior living space while the back side will help block heat and cold from the outside.
Shades are so simple, yet can be the most effective window treatments where energy savings are concerned. Once again, their positioning matters most. Mount them as close to the window glass as possible to seal the air space. You can attain even greater efficiency using dual shades which are highly reflective (white) on one side and heat absorbing (dark) on the other side. Reverse them during the seasons by facing the reflective side outward during the cooling season and inward during the heating season. Dual shades are best used in rooms requiring constant privacy such as bathrooms as they must be drawn all day long to be effective.
Article by: Jennifer Elkow
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