You may think of window treatments and coverings as simply decorative items, but using them can be an easy and affordable way to increase your home's energy efficiency. If you don't have the funds for energy-efficient windows, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends that you use the following additions to your windows to reduce your energy costs:
- Awnings – Window awnings are one of the best things that you can add to your home to keep it from getting too hot in the summer. They can shade entire sides of a house and prevent the sun from shining in too much.
- Blinds – When blinds are completely lowered, they can reduce the amount of heat that enters a house by almost 50 percent.
- Curtains/ drapes – Keeping drapes closed during sunny days can keep a significant amount of heat out of your home. In the winter, draperies should be closed during the night to prevent cool air from entering living spaces and reducing the overall temperature of a house.
- Shutters – Solid exterior shutters, fitted tightly against a widow frame, will decrease heat loss in the winter and sun exposure in the summer.
- Storm panels – Interior and exterior panels are the most similar alternatives to energy-efficient windows. Although, you can buy custom-made panels from some window suppliers, DIY kits can be easily found at hardware stores and are inexpensive.
If you're planning on making any changes to your home's interior or exterior, contact a home inspection contractor to evaluate what modifications can be made to lower your energy expenses.