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Choosing window treatments for both style and function can save you money. Certain types of window decor help prevent your home from heating up on summer days, reducing the load on your air conditioner and lowering your energy use.

Windows can cause 30 percent or more of a home’s solar heat gain, but you can reduce that with window treatments such as:  

  • Drapes
  • Shades
  • Blinds
  • Awnings

For the Interior

Thanks to their folds, drapes keep your home cool more effectively than straight curtains. By hanging the right drapes, you could cut heat gain from your windows by more than 30 percent. Look for insulated drapes or those with white linings.

Hanging shades is another easy way to limit your home’s heat gain. For the greatest effectiveness, choose shades with a highly reflective side and a dark side. Turn the reflective side out in summer and the dark side out in winter.

If you prefer a more streamlined look or want greater flexibility, blinds offer another way to keep out the heat with window treatments. When fully closed, high-reflectivity blinds can cut heat gain by nearly half. When you want more light, the slats let you control how much enters.  

For the Exterior

Exterior blinds made of wood, metal or vinyl reduce heat gain without interfering with your interior design. The blinds run on tracks mounted outside your window and are operated from indoors. As with interior blinds, they allow for flexibility in terms of how much light and airflow you let in.

For more decorative window shading, consider installing awnings. A light-colored awning on a west-facing window can cut heat gain by around three-quarters, while one on a south-facing window can reduce heat gain by more than 60 percent.

Today’s acrylic and other synthetic awnings are treated to repel water and resist mildew so they last longer than the older canvas types. That gives you more time to recoup your investment in the form of energy savings.

For more professional guidance on lowering your home’s cooling load or for maintenance and repair help, contact us at Brennan’s Heating & Air.

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