Window Treatments – Things to Consider
The right window treatments can really dress up an otherwise boring looking window. It can also help increase the usefulness of the window when handled right. Whether it’s bamboo vertical blinds on the interior to help reduce glare and protect your privacy, or window awnings on the exterior to keep the heat of the sun from entering your home, approaching the addition in regards to both form and function will ensure you get the most from your investment.
Perhaps first point to consider with window treatments is how they affect the energy efficiency of the home. Much of the heat that builds up in a house starts out with sunlight radiating in through the windows. Sunlight that hits the siding or roof can radiate inwards, but usually the insulation handles that. At least better than the windows keep out the light. (What good is a window that keeps out light anyways?)
This means that you can make rather dramatic improvements in the energy efficiency of your house simply by preventing so much of the light, especially direct sunlight, from entering in through the windows. The most efficient way of doing that is to intercept the light before it gets a chance to pass through your window. While reflective films or materials indoors will help a little bit, much of the heat will be trapped inside the house if it’s allowed to enter in the first place.
Window awnings are perhaps the most efficient way of keeping the heat out of your home. Because they intercept the direct sunlight before it can even get near the window, most of the heat is dissipated outside and never enters through the windows. Porch awnings or those for decks and patios can also have this effect too, as well as other benefits such as providing a cool exterior living area.
Other methods such as using solar screens or shades that are near to the window can help as well, but some of that heat they absorb will be radiated into the house. The least useful are the interior window treatments, which allow the radiation to enter through the windows, and then block it. This just means that the air movement in your home will bring the radiation from those blinds or curtains, and spread it through the house.
So if you are serious about decreasing your electric bills, window awnings are a great place to start. The passive energy savings they provide are hard to beat!