Choosing Energy Efficient Window Coverings

Design Advice by Gary Gilbert
Leading Design Consultant Gary Gilbert gives advice about choosing energy efficient window coverings.

Window coverings serve many functions, from beautifying the home to providing privacy, light control, and energy efficiency. In the desert Southwest, where I live, heat control is a top concern for many of my clients. Those high summer electric bills can be a real burden! In colder climates, keeping the heat inside the home is a top concern in Winter.

When energy efficiency is a concern for my customers, I usually guide them to honeycomb shades, shutters, or custom drapery. All have their specific benefits and come at different price points, so I have listed them in order of cost. 

Honeycomb Shades come in a variety of opacities, meaning that there are different fabrics that allow varying amounts of light into the room. From sheer to room darkening, there will be a honeycomb shade that will meet your needs. To keep the temperature in your home comfortable, you can use a double cell light filtering or a room darkening shade. The light filtering shades are ideal for the public areas of your home as they will not darken the room, but will do a great job of keeping the heat out. For the bedrooms or other areas where you want as little light as possible in the space, use the room darkening fabrics. These are great in bedrooms when paired with a top down/bottom up upgrade because you can allow a little light to come in through the top of the window while maintaining privacy.

Aside from the energy benefits of this product, we also offer many designer colors and excellent control options. For child safety and ease of use, cordless shades or those with a continuous cord loop are a great way to go. You can even combine two fabrics on a single shade. If you want to be able to see outside during, maintain your privacy and have light filtering or room darkening for at night, honeycomb shades are a great choice. 

Shutters are an excellent choice for insulation as well. Wood is a natural insulator, and when the shutters are closed they keep the heat or cold from coming into the room. They normally darken rooms well enough for use in the bedrooms, and louvers can be adjusted to a customer’s specific needs. Although shutters tend to be a larger financial investment, they also add beauty to any home - they are furniture for the windows. The real estate agents that I work with also tell me that they are a very attractive feature for potential buyers, so if you see yourself selling your home in the next several years, the fact that they are long-lasting and durable means that your chances of attracting buyers increases.

Custom Drapery is a great insulator and adds tons of beauty and style to any room that they are in. Whether lined in light filtering or room darkening liner, they help to keep the heat out (or in, depending on your needs!) and look good while doing it. We offer hundreds of fabrics in today’s most popular colors and patterns, so it is always a lot of fun to choose the best look for a client’s room.

We have great options for draperies, valances, and roman shades, so no matter what your taste is, we can beautify your home and serve your energy needs at the same time.

Smiling Lady
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