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Here’s a shady tip: Use your window treatments to your advantage

By Mary Ripley on  October 14, 2016

Mr. Sun is a great friend to have all year long. But sometimes in the summer, he gets too hot for our taste. That’s how we know it’s a great time of year to use window treatments to your advantage.

Blinds, shades or drapes

There are many kinds of window treatments and each do something a little different for energy efficiency.

Slat-type blinds are far more effective at reducing summer heat than insulating in the winter. According to U.S. Department of Energy, highly reflective blinds lowered and closed completely can reduce heat gain by as much as 45 percent. Another great function of blinds is they can be fine-tuned to angle light in a desired direction—perhaps onto something light-colored that won’t absorb as much heat.

Dual shades with white on the outside and a darker color on the inside help reflect sunlight and absorb heat, keeping much of it from entering the room.

Drapes can be effective at reducing heat, as well. Of course, they will need to have white plastic backings to reflect sunlight and at least a medium color on the interior. Drapes can reduce heat gain by about 33 percent.

Also, consider hanging two draperies side-by-side; this adds additional insulation in the summer and winter months. The same is true of combining drapes and blinds.

Open in the morning; closed in the afternoon

No matter what window treatment you choose, adjusting them at different points of the day can help you reduce your utility bills.

In the morning, when it is cooler outside and you may want a bit of extra heat, open your shades to let in some natural light and heat. This will help you save on your electric bill because you won’t need to turn on a light.

Later in the day when it gets hotter, close your shades to block the extra heat from the sunlight from coming inside.

Share these tips to spread the energy-efficient love to your friends and family!

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