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window treatmentsDuring the summer, solar heat gain can make efficient home cooling a challenge for Alexandria-area residents. Window treatments are an effective way to help shield your home from the powerful rays of the sun. In so doing, window treatments help to reduce cooling needs, thereby increasing your air conditioner’s energy efficiency.

Window Treatment Options

There are many ways in which you can reduce solar heat via windows, many of which are also inexpensive.

  • Blinds: You can use either interior and exterior blinds to provide shade to windows. Blinds are available in a wide range of materials, including wood, plastic, aluminum, and vinyl.
  • Shades: Common roll-up shades offer an inexpensive way to block the sun’s rays from coming through windows. Decorative shades, such as Roman shades, vertical shades or quilted roll-up shades are often made of thicker material.
  • Shutters: Shutters are not only decorative, but they also offer shade. They are available for interior or exterior windows as well.
  • Drapes: Drapes can offer both shade and insulation. Their effectiveness depends on the type of fabric used. Close drapes during the day to prevent heat gain. Drapes offer more flexibility because they are quite affordable, allowing you to change often according to decorative needs or preferences.
  • Awnings or Overhangs: Temporary or permanent roof overhangs can provide shade to windows facing south and west. Awnings can reduce solar heat gain by as much as 77 percent.

Window treatments can be combined for an even greater effect. Many window treatments have dual capabilities, reflecting heat on the lighter said and absorbing it on the other. These reversible products are excellent for use in winter and summer. Although Window treatments are a great help reducing heat gain in the summer, they are not as effective in reduce heat loss in the colder months. If your windows have leaks and need to be sealed, for example using caulking or weatherstripping, window treatments will only go so far.

To learn about changes you can make to increase your HVAC system’s efficiency, contact the pros at Brennan’s Heating & Air Conditioning. Our qualified contractors can provide the systems and services for overall HVAC efficiency. Call us today at (703) 763-0399.

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