Winter is here! It’s time to grab your favorite sweater and warmest clothes and get ready for the icy months ahead. While it can be one the best seasons, filled with many fond memories, it can also be one of the most expensive when it comes to heating your home and trying to stay insulated. It is easy for rising electricity bills to loom in the background of this lovely season, but we are here to help. With the right insulation and window coverings, that bill can stay manageable while you stay warm and happy in your home.
Insulated Cellular Shades
Insulated cellular shades are considered one of the most effective types of window treatments for insulation in the winter. Their insulation comes from the built in air pockets in their honeycombed cross-sections. These sections reduce the conduction of heat through the window and trap the warmth inside of the house with the most success of any covering out there. The Department of Energy has explained that these shades can reduce heat loss by 40% or more.
As we highlighted in our best window coverings for the summer article, insulated cellular shades are also a great choice because of their importance in the warm months. The shades are multifaceted, with the ability to reduce heat loss in the cold months and unwanted solar heat in the warmest months. They can both block out sun on the brightest, hottest days of the summer and keep in the heat on the coldest, harshest days of winter. The more advanced, automated insulated cellular shades can even be seasonally adjusted in order to keep the home the warmest or coolest it can be without racking up the electricity bills.
Roller shades with darkening capabilities can be used to trap in heat during the winter. They are best known for their ability to block out sunlight during the summer months, but they can also be a smart and cost effective way to help with insulation. Normal roller shades without darkening and lightening features can also help with insulation when a thicker fabric is used for the shade.
It’s All in the Fabric
Just like roller shades, most other window coverings can have insulating potential when the right fabric and color is used. Studies have shown most conventional draperies can reduce heat loss by 10%. When the curtains and drapes are thicker fabric or a darker color, this can increase.
Cornices and Valances
Heat exchange and convection can be deterred by making sure draperies are as close to the window as possible. Installing a cornice or valance is perfect for this; their ability to keep the drape closer to the window than it would be on its own helps the heat stay in more effectively than only a drape could. Plus, they are a perfect addition to drapes that need a bit more flair or character.
There are also helpful household tips for insulating your home when new coverings aren’t in the near future. Some homeowners choose window films, inserting foam tape around their windows, or using chalk or sealants in tough places. Besides window films, most of these are not permanent fixes to insulation issues. Still, they are small, helpful ways to quickly fix an insulation issue that needs immediate attention.
Here’s to Winter!
With these window-covering tips, winter will be a cinch (and with smaller electricity bills). Instead of worrying about how to heat the house without breaking the bank, you can now focus on the parts of winter that really matter. The cozy times with family and friends, the celebrations within the home, and the start of a new year are the only things you will need to focus on during the winter months.