Sioux City, IA (ABC 9 News) - Window treatments not only bring a stylish touch to any room, they can also provide a good source of shade.
In fact, experts say window blinds – either the vertical or horizontal type – can reduce solar heat gain, by roughly 45%. Insulated draperies can also improve your efficiency, but you need to pay attention to the fabric type and color.
Angie Hicks, with Angie’s List, says, "When it comes to keeping cool in the summertime grandma's advice about pulling the drapes on windows that face the west and the south still holds true. Using a medium–colored drape with a white plastic backing can cut your solar heat gain by 33 percent."
Not only that, several types of window shades can also cut energy costs.
Pat Rebb, a window covering specialist, says, "One of the most efficient window coverings is cellular or honeycomb shades. They have a gap of air between the cells which helps as a barrier for that warm air and the heat coming in, that solar heat coming in."
Shutters are an option and so are awnings, for a more modern appearance.
These actually cut solar gain by roughly 77%, and the one's out there, now, are generally good for 12 to 15 years.Keep in mind: the key to reducing energy use in your home is ensuring window treatments are installed properly. The good news here? Angie's List found that most window treatment companies do offer free, in–home consultations.