Go Green and Save Money With Your Window Treatments

 Energy-Efficient Duette Architella Honeycomb Shades by Hunter Douglas

While it may just seem like the catch-phrase or trend of the moment, there are many advantages to “going green” besides the fact that you are helping the environment; saving money being one of the biggest. How select your window treatments can have a huge impact on your utility bills and in some cases, can even qualify you for tax credits.

The main property you want to look for in an energy-efficient treatment is how effective it is at preventing heat loss or heat gain. If cold weather is more common where you live, you obviously want to prevent heat loss as much as possible. Draperies (when used correctly) can reduce heat loss by up to 25%. For the best results, use two drapes instead of one and place them as close to the window as possible. Use Velcro or magnets to seal the sides and bottom of the drapes and be sure to always keep them closed at night and even during the day if there is no sunlight coming through the window.

In warmer climates, blinds are probably your best option for preventing heat gain. Blinds are not as effective at preventing heat loss as the numerous openings between the blinds make it hard to control how much heat you are losing. But these openings can be adjusted to control ventilation and light. Heat gain can be reduced by as much as 45% with highly reflective blinds when they are completely closed and lowered on a sunlit window.

The type of material you choose is factor as well. Looking at the R-Value and Shading Coefficient of a material can help you figure out what would be best for your insulation needs. The R-Value tells you how effective the material is at preventing heat loss and the Shading Coefficient will tell you how much heat will come through the window. So, if your primary concern is heat gain, you want a material with a low R-Value and high Shading Coefficient.

When it comes to window treatments being eligible for tax credits, the law is very specific. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 states that, in order to be to be eligible for tax credits the window treatment must be “specifically and primarily designed to reduce heat loss or gain”. The problem is that most window treatments are specifically and primarily designed for decoration and privacy. However, if the window treatment comes with a manufacturer’s certification statement, the consumer will get the credit even if the certification is later found to have been wrongly issued. Two products that come with this kind of certification are Hunter Douglas’ Duette Architella Honeycomb Shades and Comfortex’s Comfortrack Plus system.

Keep in mind that just because a type of treatment may be energy efficient for one home, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will be for yours. There are many factors involved including the type of windows you have and what your primary insulation concerns are. Hopefully, with this information, you’ll have an easier time selecting green treatments for your windows.

Guest blog by Richard Moyle of Horizon Window Treatments

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