In the last few years, global climate change has kept energy efficiency close to top of the our cultural conscience. As young people age and realize they’ll likely be inheriting a mess of problems, they’ve been searching for little ways to cut back on their energy consumption. Older Canadians, some interested in saving money on their energy bills; others motivated by environmental concerns, have also recently been looking for ways to make their lives more energy efficient. Normandeau is here to help!

Did you know that window coverings are one of the many great ways to help your home be more energy efficient? Windows are infamously good at transferring energy. That means during the summer, windows are helping to heat up your home, and during our cold Canadian winter, they’re letting heat escape. One way to help limit this heat gain and loss is to have really good, high efficiency windows. Unfortunately buying snazzy, four-pane windows for your entire home can get really expensive really fast.

If you’re searching for a more affordable alternative to replacing all your windows, then window coverings may be the best option for you. And, if you already have high-efficiency windows, then choosing great window treatments will help save you even more money on the gas bill.

Shades are long pieces of fabric that typically roll up and down to cover respectively less or more of your window. Shades come in all sort of colours, weaves, and materials. Because of this flexibility, they can be used throughout your home to help promote energy efficiency. Your best option is to have a tightly woven shade, and preferably, it’ll be made with two colours of fabrics. On one side, the shade should be a rich, dark colour — during the winter, you can have the dark side facing the glass so that it can absorb the sun’s heat. The other side should be shiny and light, in summer having this side face the glass will reflect away light and other forms of solar radiation.

Blinds are made from horizontal or vertical slats. These slats can be made out of fabric, plastic, wood, or a combination of things, and they work great for preventing the summer’s heat from entering your home. Since they don’t limit energy loss quite as well, blinds work best on southern facing windows. When kept closed, a reflective, light-coloured blind can help reduce heat gain by 45%! That’s a huge improvement.

Drapes, like shades, are a flexible window covering whose protective value depends a lot on the what sort of fabric and colour is chosen. Some choices aren’t going to benefit your home’s efficiency nearly as much as careful decisions. In order to maximize the benefits, your drapes should be light to medium in colour — lighter colours are better at reflecting heat.

Studies have shown that closing your drapes in the summer can reduce a home’s heat gains by 33%. That means, by using drapes and blinds together, you could see a reduction in heat gains by over 75%. During the winter months, drapes should be left open when sunlight is available to heat a room. At night or for windows that don’t receive direct sunshine, closing drapes can reduce heat loss on average by about 10%. However, some households have actually seen a reduction of heat loss closer to 25%!

Increasing your home’s energy efficiency in an enviable goal. It helps save your family money, and it also helps the polar bears hang on to their dwindling habitat. If you want to help make your house more energy efficient, choosing great window coverings is an excellent place to start. Come into Normandeau today, and our experts would be happy to answer your questions and point you in the right direction!