Energy Saving Window Treatments

Going green in window treatments isn’t about a color choice, it’s a movement to choose environmentally friendly decorating products.  It’s also about saving energy to help the environment, and window treatments can save you a bundle.

Window treatments can reduce heat loss in the winter and keep out the heat of the summer.  We have a large Victorian with interior shutters and NO, I repeat, NO central air conditioning.  I thought it would be the first upgrade to the home when we purchased it, but we soon realized that summers can be quite manageable using the shutters.  Keeping windows open in the cool evenings and closing them with the shutters keeping the sun out keeps it nice and cool in all but the hottest of summer days.


Venetian blinds are better at keeping the summer heat out than the winter heat in.  Because of the slats and the numerous openings, blinds don’t control heat loss in the winter very well.  For summer, they are great choices for controlling light and ventilation while maintaining privacy.  Blinds are good energy saving window treatments in warmer climates, and they can reduce heat gain by up to 45%.


Window shades tend to be the most simple and effective window covering for saving energy.  Make sure the shade is mounted as close to the glass as possible with the sides close to the wall.  This mounting makes a sealed air space that controls heat loss and heat gain in all seasons.  Keeping shades lowered during the summer will keep the heat out and the electric bill lower.  During the winter, raise shades on the South side of the home to let in sunlight, and lower them at night.


The energy saving properties of drapes and curtains depend on the fabric type and color.  Closing drapes during the day in the summer can reduce heat gain by up to 33%.  During cold weather, close drapes to help save on heating bills and you can reduce heat loss up to 10%.  Like shades, open the drapes on the southern side of the home to let in warming sunlight, and close in the evening.


Plantation shutters work well in warmer climates, as they control light and heat gain in the summer, but don’t keep heat in as well.  Solid shutters are energy savers in both warm and cold weather.  The tighter they are against the window, the more energy savings you’ll have, as you create an insulating air space between the shutter and the window. 

While you’re planning out your interior decorating project, consider your window treatments not only as part of your home décor, but part of your energy plan.  A small investment in the right window treatment can help you save money in the long run.