Energy-Efficient Window Treatments: The Benefits Of Temperature Regulation and Insulation
When it comes to home decoration, beyond furniture, flooring, and walls, windows and window treatments also play a part in aesthetics, and there are many variations of design choice. Most commonly, window treatments – including decorations such as blinds, shades, drapes – fall into two categories: valance and cornice.
What Is A Valance? A Cornice?
A valance is installed at the top of a window on a rod for draperies or installed onto the wall on wood or on brackets. They are short and hang down loosely.
A cornice is a hard, shaped window treatment. The difference between a cornice and a valance is that a cornice does not hang loose. The fabric is pulled taut across the top of a window.
Beyond style and home decoration, however, it also very important to regulate temperature within the home and save on energy and energy costs.
Potential Benefits Of Window Treatments
Approximately a third of thermal loss within a home is lost through doors and windows, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. However, window treatments may reduce heat loss within a room by up to 10% in the winter.
Draperies may reduce the annual energy use of a household by up to 13%, according to the AERC. For those that are medium-colored with white plastic backings, heat may be reduced by up to 33%.
Types Of Energy-Efficient Shades And Shutters
Cellular shades are also known as honeycomb shades, largely due to constructed cells shaped like honeycombs. They provide insulation between the window and the room and may come either single or double-celled.
They are also versatile when it comes to temperature, for both hot and cold climates. In terms of budget, single-cell shades will be cheaper than double-cell – although double-cell shades provide higher levels of insulation.
Annually, cellular shades on a single-pane window may save between $280 and $470 in energy costs, according to the AERC – in comparison to less efficient roller shades, which may save up to $180.
Plantation shutters are a very popular shutter style within the warmer regions of the U.S., particularly in states in the south and west. They consist of louvers, angled or flat strips of material hung at intervals that allow for the passage of light and air.
They come in three separate materials – composite, vinyl, and wood.
Composite shutters are an affordable type of plantation shutter, specifically made of engineered wood, and they are sturdy structures, simultaneously resistant to weather elements and to humidity.
Vinyl shutters are cheaper than composites, but they may have structural issues, possibly sagging over time, although they still do provide weather and humidity resistance.
Wood shutters may be the best quality material for plantation shutters, since it is the strongest, in relation to weight. They may also be the most versatile aesthetically, since they may be either stained or painted, and they may be styled into custom shutters styles.
Choose Energy-Saving Styles
When investing in window treatments, choose more energy-efficient, better-insulating styles. Not only will they make the home environment more comfortable, in terms of aesthetic and temperature regulation, they will also save on energy expenditure and costs.
There is a wide variety of styles to choose from – valance or cornice, different types of shades and shutters – with several functions geared towards hot and cold environments and towards dealing with humidity.