Modern-day homes are constructed in a way to have the maximum ventilation and the requisite amount of sunlight. Therefore, windows play an essential role in creating the overall look and feel of the house. In particular, they help maintain a comfortable temperature inside the rooms with the help of suitable window treatment. In addition, window treatments can provide insulation to the room and make the home energy efficient.
WHAT IS ENERGY EFFICIENCY?
The primary aim of energy efficiency is to manage the total energy usage from
different sources, be it solar, wind, electrical, geothermal, etc., properly. We can save a lot
of energy in our day to day lives if our industries and homes become energy efficient. Most
of these energy-efficient measures are highly affordable and easier to implement than people
think they are. Together, these small energy-saving measures make the homes and industries
energy efficient, reducing the pressure on resources and making the entire endeavour
sustainable. As per one of the surveys done by Natural Resources Canada, in the year 2014,
Canadians, by adopting energy-saving measures, saved $38.5 billion on energy bills.
WHY SHOULD YOU IMPROVE YOUR HOME’S ENERGY EFFICIENCY FOR
Everyone should adopt energy efficiency measures and pay attention to the small
details to significantly impact the overall energy efficiency of our homes. Especially in the
months of winter, the homeowners should try to improve their home’s energy efficiency
because of the following reasons:
- Improving Energy Efficiency of Home Saves Money:
It has been observed that if one improves the home’s energy efficiency, then s/he can save a
lot of money. For example, if window treatments provide ample insulation to the room, then
the owner can maintain a comfortable atmosphere inside. As a result, the pressure on the
heating system will be less and energy consumption will come down. According to Energy
Star Annual Report 2016, if one buys an energy-efficient desktop, one can save $831 per
year for a total of four years (estimated life of a desktop). Window treatments, in the same
way by reducing electricity consumption, save money for the owner.
- Improving the Energy Efficiency of the Home Helps the Environment:
Every one of us has a carbon footprint. One can reduce it significantly by making the house
energy efficient. One of the options is to buy only Energy Star certified products. Window
treatments that help in reducing electricity consumption affect our health as well. Since they
reduce carbon footprint, they aid in the improvement of the air quality. According to a report
by WHO, 4.2 million people lose their life because of excessive air pollution. The energy
efficient blinds help to keep the room warm and the air clean and healthy.
- Improving the Energy Efficiency Makes the Home more Comfortable:
If the owner resides in a cold area, increasing energy efficiency makes the home more
comfortable. With proper window treatments, the house has radiant heat with warm floors
and walls. It makes the home more comfortable than warm air being emitted only by the
radiators. Combined with a good filtering system, energy-efficient window treatments can
also benefit health by reducing allergens and dust.
- Improving the Energy Efficiency Increases the Value of the House:
The owner should concentrate on making the house more energy-efficient as it increases the
house’s market value. As per the recent survey, houses that are energy efficient have a 9
percent higher resale value than others. In the same vein, a National Association of Home
Builders survey ranked the energy star rated appliances at the top spot out of 120 desirable
elements. Thus, most people today understand the value of energy-efficient appliances and
homes and give more value to the houses, which help conserve energy.
HOW CAN ONE INCREASE THE HOME’S ENERGY EFFICIENCY THROUGH
When it comes to window treatments, prospective buyers have a lot of choices. Following
are some of the options from which the owners can select the window treatments to keep the
house warm during winters:
- The Use of Shades to Improve the Energy Efficiency of the House:
Shades, in particular, cellular shades, have a high R-value. They have special cells which
can trap heat between the house and the window. The owners get the option of selecting
either a single, double or even a triple layer cell fabric. The more cells there are in the fabric,
the higher is the R-value. Cellular shades which provide good insulation are in the range of
2 to 5. According to one of the surveys, cellular shades can reduce the heat loss via windows
by up to 40%, which translates into 20% savings in heat energy. They are also capable of
reducing unwanted solar heat by as much as 80 percent. They can be cordless, motorised,
smart, roller and provide options of blackout or sheer fabrics.
- The Use of Shutters to Improve the Energy Efficiency of the House:
The owners have a lot of choices when it comes to window shutters. They can select from
different materials like wood, aluminium, fabric and steel. Shutters have different R values,
depending on the type of material that is used. It is also dependent on the gap between the
shutters. If the gap is significant, then the R-value will be lower and vice versa. Shutters
prevent the heat from entering the house when they are closed but can allow a sufficient
amount of heat and light to enter the room during winters when they are open. In extreme
weather conditions, window shutters can be used in a layered arrangement to provide better
insulation to prevent the inside hot air from escaping. Shutters thus make the house energy
efficient and add value to the house. One of the most energy-efficient window treatments is
plantation shutters. They are capable of providing good insulation to the room because they
have the tightest fit against windows. In addition, they have the thickest material that
provides good insulation.
- The Use of Drapes and Curtains to Improve the Energy Efficiency of the
If the owner opts for curtains, he can completely cover the window, but on the other hand,
draperies can reach the floor as well. Either of them can be made of a variety of fabrics.
Further, curtains can be used with additional lining increasing the R-value to provide good
insulation and maintain a healthy lifestyle. If the owner wants the highest R-value, they
should opt for heavy drapes with thermal lining.
- The Use of Window Films to Improve the Energy Efficiency of the House:
Another great option to save energy is to use window films. They are easy to use, friendly
on the budget and make the home energy efficient. They are available in a wide variety of
styles and offer varying levels of UV protection. The owner also can layer them with other
window treatments for enhanced insulation and energy efficiency.
Energy-efficient homes are the need of the hour. One small step taken by all of us will
prove to be a giant leap for the humanity in future. Sustainability and preservation are the
keywords. We can make a safe and secure place for ourselves and our children if we are
responsible enough not to waste invaluable energy resources.