Concern about our environment is certainly a growing concern. But, hitting home more directly, for many families, is the ever-rising costs of energy. If you live in a cold climate you are probably feeling the pinch of rising fuel oil costs. I lived in New Hampshire for many years and I was acutely aware of this. It seemed that every winter the prices just kept going up. But it is not just cold climates and seasons where rising energy costs are an issue. Cooling your home is more expensive too.
There are ways to dramatically improve the energy efficiency of your home and one of them is with the right types of window blinds and shades. One of the best types of window treatments for insulation is cellular shades, also called cell shades and honeycomb shades. They come in single, double and triple cells. The triple cell shades offer the greatest level of insulation both for hot and cold weather.
There are other choices. Many types of window treatments and coverings now offer significant energy efficiency so you are not stuck with only one choice. For example, may manufacturers of window blinds and shades offer insulated roman shades. This is usually an option that gets added on to the style you choose but, some come this way right from the factory.
Another choice, for those who want the benefits of cellular shades, but the look of drapery-style fabrics, should consider insulating roman panel shades. Panel shades are also called panel track blinds and sliding window panels. Panel shades have overlapping fabric panels on a wheeled track system, something akin to vertical blinds. Solar Panel Window Blinds
Another idea is to maximize the sun’s heat with solar shades, or sheer shades. With these window shades you can make use of the natural light during daylight hours. Most solar shades and sheer shades offer the privacy you desire but still allow the sunlight to warm you room’s interior.
Aside from energy-efficient cellular shades, roman shades or panel shades, you can also insulate your home by using weather-stripping to seal windows and doors. Also try placing foam draft blockers behind electrical cover plates. You may also want to use insulation to wrap your water heater and water pipes, preventing heat loss during transfer.
While I am on the subject of energy efficiency, I would remind you that one of the simplest things you can do to save energy is replace your regular light bulbs with compact florescent bulbs (CFLs). CFLs will last up to ten times longer than regular light bulbs, while using only 1/4 of the energy! Many manufacturers offer CFLs that are warmer in color and look very much like regular bulbs. They can save energy and showcase your interior design style at the same time.
All of these things I have mentioned, especially the window shades and blinds are not exactly cheap. But, they will pay off in the long run. Sometimes, we just don’t have the money to make our homes as energy efficient as we’d like. I certainly understand this dilemma. If you are in this situation, consider purchasing one piece at a time, over many months, even years. That is what I did while living in the Northeast. I lived in one of those old New England homes with like 50 windows. There was no way I could buy cellular shades for the entire house all at once. So, I started slow and purchased shades for the living room, then the bedrooms and so on.
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