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Window Treatment Ideas – Keeping Energy Efficiency in Mind

Control Circulation

Restricting airflow at the top, bottom and sides of the window treatment is a key to saving energy. Close the top with a cornice or ceiling mount drapery, fitting the bottom close to the sill or floor and sides snugly to the window frame. This will trap dead air, containing heat in summer and cold in winter, cutting heat transfer by 25%. Center overlap stops 10% heat loss. Inside mounted (inside the window frame) treatments should be placed 1” from the glass to maximize energy efficiency.

via kidspacestuff.com

Just like when you dress yourself for cold weather, layers are the way to go. Even using the best currently available construction technology, your heating dollars are going out the window (sorry). Your best defense is to make use of multiple layers of window coverings.

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Solar Shades are Great for Light Control

As this picture shows, solar shades can make a room more livable by reducing glare and radiant heat from a sunny window without blocking the view or making you feel like a cave dweller.

Solar shades reduce glare and heat gain

Click the photo to see a better quality image

Solar shades are made from open weave synthetic fabrics with numerous patterns and colors and levels of transparency to choose from.

  • solar shades give a clean, modern look
  • these shades offer good protection against sun damage to flooring, artwork, woodwork, furniture and other furnishings
  • they are an excellent choice for high traffic areas that receive a lot of active use
  • solar shades are easy to keep clean – just wipe with a damp cloth
  • they stand up well to humid environments like spas and greenhouses
  • the moving parts are uncomplicated, durable and reliable
  • installation is easy

Here’s another photo, this one has a lighter colored fabric.

Solar Shade - Light Colored Fabric


Now for the down side – you knew there had to be one didn’t you? In areas of the house where privacy is a concern, solar shades may not be your best choice. As these photos clearly show, unless you make them wider than the window and mount them on the outside, you will be able to see around them at the edges. At night, when the lights are on inside, you can see right in from the outside.

I live in the high desert of western Nevada. The sun here can be brutal. Most of the upscale residences and vacation homes in the nearby Lake Tahoe area have rooms full of windows situated so as to take advantage of spectacular mountain or lake views. Solar screens have proven to be a workable solution to the problem of how to protect from the high altitude sun without losing the high dollar views. I recommend them without hesitation.