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Home Survival Skills: Cut Energy Costs With Window Treatments

Spring is officially here as of last week, but unofficially here according to my local weather report. This means we still have time to prep our homes for the upcoming seasons. I think we can all agree it was a less than enjoyable winter (thank you, polar vortex!), and my energy bill certainly saw the effects of that.

There are simple ways you can make your home more energy efficient both inside and outside to lower your bill. How? By outfitting your home with the proper window treatments. Choosing the right ones can help reduce heat loss from your home in the winter and heat gain in the summer. Here are some top picks and their benefits:

Window Awnings

Window Awnings

© Gibbs Smith, Barry Dixon Interiors, Brian D Coleman; Photography by Edward Addeo

Window awnings can reduce solar heat gain up to 77 percent. They’re not only beneficial to your outdoor space, but they’re stylish, too. For even more protection, choose a light-colored canvas to reflect more sunlight in the coming months.

Blinds

Shutters

Design by Susan Anthony

Window blinds are better at reducing summer heat than keeping out the cold. When interior blinds are completely closed, they can reduce heat gain by around 45 percent. Not bad!

Shades

Bamboo Window Blinds

Design by Kerrie Kelly

Window Shade

© 2013 Gibbs Smith, Allure of French & Italian Decor, Betty Lou Phillips

There are several different types of window shades, from roller shades to Roman. This particular type of window treatment, however, can offer the most energy conservation for both summer and winter. The U.S. Department of Energy suggests using dual shades with a highly-reflective color (white) on one side and a heat-absorbing color (black) on the other side that can be reversed when the seasons change.

Draperies

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