Planning your home design and the products you choose for the interior while keeping energy savings in mind, not only saves you money but it is more environmentally responsible. If you are building your home, consider installing energy efficient windows with the ENERGY STAR ® label. Also, consider the exposure to sunlight in the design of your home as well as placement of your landscaping; a shade tree can help reduce the sunlight that enters your home. A very common way to reduce your home’s energy use is through the use of window coverings, either exterior or interior. One such energy saving window treatment is the use of plantation shutters.
Exterior Window Coverings
The outside of your home is a great place to start reducing your energy usage. Placing awnings above windows that receive direct sunlight provides shade and deflects the sun’s rays, which keeps the interior temperatures cooler. Awnings can reduce the solar heat gain by up to 65% on south-facing windows and 77% for east facing windows. Mesh window screens also help to reduce solar radiation and work particularly well on east and west-facing windows. If building a home, also consider the orientation of your roof overhangs, particularly on south facing windows. This is not a viable solution for older homes because it can be very costly to make changes to your home’s roof design.
Interior Window Coverings
Interior window coverings not only decrease your energy costs but they also help protect your furnishings, wall coverings, and carpets from fading due to direct sunlight. They also add another layer of protection from the sun’s powerful rays. A wonderful solution that is energy-efficient, attractive, and can add value to your home would be plantation shutters. The Smart Energy Alliance rates plantation shutters as having an R-value of 2.77 to 3.17. The R-value measures thermal resistance. There are many styles of draperies that can offer energy-savings due to the thickness and types of materials used. By using a combination of interior shutters with insulating drapes, you can receive even more energy-savings. You may also decide to use reflective window film on your windows which can be particularly effective on window’s that receive direct sunlight.
Your energy-savings can quickly add up if you use a combination of these suggestions. Protecting your valuable furnishings, artwork and flooring alone can be well worth the effort. Keep in mind that West-facing windows require the most coverage as they receive the highest levels of solar radiation. Your south-facing windows are a great source for natural sunlight and only need minimal protection. When choosing your interior and exterior window coverings, consider your home’s orientation, your climate, latitude, luminance levels, and window size and type. Obviously, you will need to hire professionals to install a few of these options, but you can install your own draperies and even plantation shutters unless you require them to be customized due to odd window size. Your plantation shutter manufacturer can advise you as to the best course of action.